Cuteness to pinch

Check out the adorable profile of our A. Although very much a toddler, she still reminds me of a little baby with her button nose, cheeks, and baby fine skin. Don't you just want to pinch her cheeks?


Kids are funny, aren't they? Little A loves to laugh. And laugh all the time she does. While we were at the baseball game last weekend the Iron Chef was cleaning off her face and hands after lunch and A thought this was quite comical. She couldn't stop laughing. So she laughed, and laughed some more. Finally, everything came back out her nose! Yes, I'm serious. She laughed so hard liquid came out her nose. I can only imagine this is not the end of this. Oi Ve (did I spell that correctly, if not, oops)!


Where You Live Fridays - Pretty in Pink

For the past several weeks, Kelly Stamps from Kelly's Korner has been hosting Show Us Where You Live Fridays!

This week's theme is CHILDREN'S ROOMS!

I saw this on one of my cousin-in-laws blog and thought it was pretty neat. Plus, I'm always looking for new ideas for children's rooms so I couldn't resist to add a post of my own.

Since many of you live on the other side of the country from us, I thought I'd participate and share our little cupcake's room with you. Much has changed since her original nursery. For example, no more bumpers on the bed, bedskirt is gone, baby black & white photos aren't all on the wall behind bed, etc. And, most importantly, this is her second bedroom thus far. The walls were already green in here when we moved in, so we thought, green will work. Plus, if our next one is a boy, then we already have a green room that will work perfectly for the next nursery whenever that may happen.

The furniture is one of my absolute favorites. As the Iron Chef and I were looking around for baby furniture, we fell in love with this. The furniture was purchased from EllaBella Kids, our local baby boutique in our old hometown of Kennewick, WA. The furniture is Munire and the collection is Newport. You can also check it out directly at Munire's website. The crib is a convertible crib that turns into a full size bed when our little peanut grows out of it. I love this bedroom furniture so much that I've already hunted down a boutique in Portland that specializes in this same brand.

The bedding and rug were bargain finds at Pottery Barn kids. I had been hunting down several nursery collections and loved most everything at Pottery Barn. I settled on this collection from PB Kids. When I went up to the store in Seattle, everything was 50% off. It was meant to be. The customer service at PB called everywhere around the country trying to hunt down the matching rug for me. We finally found it! I've been pleased with the quality and durability of this bedding collection and highly recommend it to anyone. It's a timeless, classic brand.

The handmade doll on the glider was given as a gift to Ava when she was born. The doll was bigger than Ava when she was born and now she's much bigger than it.

My glider and ottoman were the big splurge for the room. Totally girly, totally pink, but 100% worth it. Many children outgrow their rocker when they become a toddler; however, I'm still using mine to this day. I read with little A every night before bed. It's part of our routine. The glider is also from EllaBella kids (Best Chairs, storybook chair). Love it. What I'll do if and when we have our next baby and if it's a boy ... I'm not sure. Hopefully I can find a good upholstery place to change the color if need be.

As for the little details in her room, I'm still working on that. Aren't decorations in a child's room always a work in progress? They change and grow up so quickly that it's hard to keep one style. We've changed things several times already. Here's what she has right now.

A few of the details ...

Thanks to my mom and the Petal Pusher in Hermiston, OR. One of my friend's mom owns this store and it's absolutely fabulous. While shopping before I had little A, we found this and I just couldn't resist. Thanks, Mom!

Who would have thought it takes forever (literally) to find a hamper that matches bedding sets. I looked high and low for something cute to store dirty clothing. I looked forever. Just asked my husband. We finally found this one at Babies R Us. Although nothing special, I had to add it because it took me so long to find something light and dark pink.

Not only can I be thankful for my mom, but my mother-in-law as well. I was trying to match a curtain with the bedding, yet didn't want to pay full price for one at Pottery Barn. A sewing mother-in-law to the rescue. She came up with this design and I've used this curtain in two houses already.

I love picture frames and tried to get a little creative with what I displayed on A's dresser. The rocking horse is actually a baby shower card I received and matted with a piece of cardstock paper. The piggy bank a $1 Target bargain and the silver bank was a gift from A's great grandmother.

As for the other side of the dresser, a few of my absolute favorites. A college friend (via her sister) gave the white frame to me as a gift for graduating from college. It's a picture of two girls having a tea party at "Miami University." I will treasure this forever and thought it was very appropriate to have in my own little girls room. The espresso frame is a picture of A with her daddy when she was just a week old. This is one of my absolute favorite pictures because her daddy was one of the only people that could calm her from crying and she was so tiny. Plus, the photographer did an absolutely phenomenal job on A's newborn photos that I'd recommend her to anyone! And, the pink polka dot frame just gives a little contrast and adds some fun. The photo was one of our first "tried" photoshoots with A. The memories.

And no, we don't have many toys in her room at all. I hate having cluttered bedrooms with tons of toys ... thus the reason for her playroom downstairs. I have one small basket for books and another one for toys and stuffed animals. Although, I'm not sure how long this will last because we seem to be running out of room!

That's her room in a nutshell. We've loved her room and I know she loves her room. She is content sitting in her room with her silkies and sleeps soundly at night. What more can you ask for?


Mini-Vacation to Seattle

A very well deserved vacation for Kyle. Working a crazy 26 straight days, or something ridiculous like that ... a 4-day weekend was well deserved and very well needed. What did we do? We headed up to Seattle, WA for a mini vacation. We were total tourists and dived into just about as many touristy traps as you could imagine. Actually, we went to as many places as our littlest A would allow us to travel. And, we had a blast!

First we headed to Boeings Museum of Flight. Wonderful attraction. We had already visited the Boeing Factory in Everett, WA so we knew we were in for some fun. Boeing did a great job and had a wonderful display of planes. Little chef fell asleep almost immediately so we were able to tour around at our leisure with a sleeping baby in the stroller.

Once Ms. A woke up from her nap, we headed to the interactive Kids Flight area for some hands-on fun. Here's a picture of the Iron Chef on a hand-glider video game and our littlest A enjoying "flying" her own plane.

How about a ride on a hot air balloon?

Or a posed picture of the Iron Chef and one of the airplanes. My memory is drawing a blank on the significance of this plane.

We ventured to downtown Seattle after the museum, taking advantage of the beautiful blue sky, we headed to the Space Needle for a visual tour of the city. You could see Mt. Rainier in the background a view of downtown. Ms. A wasn't too fond of being held and was wanting to run around so our visit up to the top of the city was short and sweet.

Ever been to Pikes Market? The market where you buy incredibly fresh fruit, wonderfully smelling flowers and see fish getting thrown in front of your face? Okay, so we didn't end up seeing the fish getting thrown in the air this time, but the Public Market in Seattle is definitely a place to visit and add to your list if you've never been. We headed there to find a nice local restaurant for dinner. The hostess must have looked at us like we were crazy and she thought little A was going to cause a ruckus at the restaurant because they stuck us in the back corner. Literally. Right near the kitchen and in a corner. However, we had a beautiful view of the water and Alki Beach. The iron chef and I didn't complain one bit. We had crab cakes, clam chowder and salad topped with fresh shrimp for dinner. Yum-O! Can't get any better than a little fresh seafood.

We spent the night at Lake Sammammish with some friends and then headed to Tacoma the next day for an outing at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for the rest of Saturday. I must add that my turquoise dress was a last minute purchase from TJ Maxx. Love love love that store. Clearance rack for $15 and capris fit nicely underneath. Summer dresses are my favorite!

Here's a picture of the Iron Chef and his sous chef trying to catch a Budgy Buddy on their stick full of bird food. Needless to say, the birds didn't want to munch on our stick and preferred their bird houses. Thank goodness!

Our littlest had her first experience boating. Her first overnight trip on a yacht (thank you Bass') and her first time in a life jacket. She loved it, can't you tell?

Sunday morning we spent the day on the boat and then headed back up to Seattle to enjoy a baseball game. We watched the Mariner's at Safeco Field. The stadium was packed! We splurged and spent the extra money on tickets in the reserved Wells Fargo Terrace Club and it was worth every penny. We had room for Ms. A to run around, clean bathrooms, carpeted halls, no lines for food and drinks, cushioned seats and a canopy above our heads. We went to the game with our good 'ole friends from Kennewick.

Ms. A almost had her claim to fame on the camera as well. The camera crew was walking around during the break times to put kids faces on the big screen. Maybe on tv as well? Not sure. The camera crew had the camera pointing at Ms. A for about a minute ... but she wouldn't smile! Nothing. She didn't wave, smile, clap. Nothing. So, she missed out. We met a few of the couples sitting in front of us and they were all cheering her on because they wanted her to be on the camera as well. Better luck next time. Maybe it was the navy & white polka dot dress (Mariners colors are blue/green) and navy bow that was in her hair that made her look cute and festive for the game? Maybe they saw her laughing and smiling earlier and thought, we have to put her on camera? Maybe it's just because she's so stinkin' cute! ;) (I'm not biased at all).

After a long three days of sight seeing, missed naps, sleeping in two strange places, and lots of action. Our cupcake was tired. She was just plain exhausted. It wasn't but 4 minutes into our car ride back home and she fell asleep.

We're back safe and sound. Now, on to a busy couple of weeks. YEAH for mini vacations to Seattle. We're hoping to be able to do a few more trips like this throughout the upcoming months because we had so much fun.


Sunday Night Sizzle

What a fun mini-vacation for the "Chef" Family. We truly had a great time. Very well deserved vacation for the Iron Chef. He had previously worked 28 straight days without a day off. Exhausted and ready for some fun, this trip was very well needed. We enjoyed Seattle-land and did many tourist attractions - Boeing Museum of Flight, Seattle Space Needle, Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, spent the night on a yacht, Mariner's baseball game, and more! Pictures to come. Now time to finish laundry and clean up to enjoy the last day of our Memorial Day weekend celebration.


B is for Books and C is for Climbing

Yes, our littlest is into both right now - B for books and C for climbing. I shall share pictures of them both. In regards to books, I think I should start a book recommendation by Ava. She clearly loves books and has a passion towards reading at such an early age. Maybe just a stage or maybe she actually enjoys reading. Yeah, just a little too early to tell on that one.

Why do I think she has an obsession with books? I have them all in a basket in the family room next to her little rocking chair. She will sort through the books and find the ones she likes and then carry them to Kyle or myself to read. She will sit on our lap through the entire book and then go and pick out a new one once we've finished reading the book. This goes on repeat for as long as we let it or until she gets bored, which can easily be 20 minutes. It's crazy. I have no idea how long this phase will last, but it's pretty cute. If I sort through the books and line them up, she'll find her favorites.

Her favorite book today - "Mama, Where Are You?" by Diane Muldrow. You can check it out at your local library or Amazon.com. Seriously, it is her book of choice and has been the last few days. So if you're looking for a book for tots about "Mommies" and finding your mom, this is the one our Littlest Chef recommends. She'll hunt me down, book in hand, and literally force the book upon me.

She doesn't look thrilled in this photo. Probably because I had to hide this book because I was so tired of reading this on repeat. Did I just say that? Oops. I was just trying to expose her to new books.

As for the climbing, oh my my my. That's an entirely different story. I know everyone goes through this phase, but it is much worse than I expected. I've heard horror stories about parents having children like little monkeys, crawling on furniture and leaping from beds. Well, unfortunately, I do not think Ms. Ava is far behind. We had to baby proof our house to a new level. Everything a little higher and things that she can stand on. For example: We have a Little Tikes Slide that we've kept in her playroom. Now we have to turn the slide on its side or take it outside because Little A thinks she's big enough to climb on it by herself. Yikes. Although she doesn't realize it, I'm just caring for her and worried about her safety.

You can see her 1-2-3 steps as she realizes she can not only climb, but stand on furniture. In her mind all she thinks about is "climb and stand" and she screams when I take her away from the situation or tell her no. This will be a battle, I can already tell. I just had to snap a few pictures of this milestone ...

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

And, since being a mom is more than just a celebration on Mother's Day, I thought I'd share a snapshot of me enjoying my baby and my mother's day gifts (plants, pots, and flowers for the yard). Ava is quite the little helper. She loves the water to run on her fingers, picking flowers from my potted plants, and feeling the soil in her fingers.

One last look for the day!



Just a quick update - 2 more teeth for our littlest Chef. She is getting two more teeth on the bottom, making 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. She's getting much better at crunching foods and using her teeth to mash things. It's quite cute and comical to see her hold a cheerio in her hand and crunch with her front and bottom teeth.

So long for her toothless grin, it's filling up with shiny white teeth. :)

Splashin' Around

Here's a photo from our fun day!

Thanks for the dress, Michelle! It looks adorable and I have a matching bow, too!


A Bucketful of Fun

Actually, it was a bucket full of water. And what was this for, might you ask? Play time outside for our little cupcake. Dressed in a turquoise dress and a matching bow, and looking incredibly girlie might I add, Ava decided to go for the dirt in my potted plants and get incredibly wet with her bucket of water. It was oodles of fun for her. The iron chef and I watched in admiration at the sparkle in her eyes and listened to the laughter out of her mouth. This little bucket of water turned into an afternoon of fun. Videos and pictures to come!

She ended up getting wet from head to toe and even attempted to eat the dirt. I think she thought it was ground up Oreos ... because that's exactly what it looked like on her face.

So sweet.


Our Favorite Park

A beautiful weekend = a lot of trips to the park. Our favorite park, too. The park is located on a hill and if you climb up you can see the top of Mt. St. Helens.

Ava loves playing at the park and enjoys the swings the most.

Here she had to take off her shades to get a closer look at the boys! She is going to be TROUBLE when she's older! By the look on her face, she's thinking, "Hmm, he's pretty cute."

We've also been spending tons of time reading lately. Ava's back into her routine of reading books. I'm not sure if she just likes looking at the bright colors and contrasts of the pages, turning the pages, or likes to hear my voice - but whatever it is - we read all the time. We went to the library and checked out at least 25 new books. We go through them so fast. And, I get tired of reading all of her books repeatedly so I made sure we'd have plenty for the next week until Friday's story time at the library.

Ms. A sits on her knees and goes from book to book.

I've had to designate the area by her rocking chair as our story time corner. The house was started to fill up with books and Ava would carrying them all around from room to room. She has been enjoying her little corner and will sit in her chair and look at pages by herself as well.

Our New Therapy

Two puffs, twice a day. Once in the morning, once at night. Ava is an inhaler baby. I guess I can be thankful for genes and I don't mean the kind of jeans that you wear. Genes that get passed on through heredity and our DNA. Somewhere along the way our pediatrician thinks that Ava may have childhood asthma. They call it a fancy name now, as to not make any firm diagnosis until the child reaches the age of six.

After being sick during February, continual colds and running noses for the next 7 weeks, we knew things just weren't quite right. Ava would wake up for 1-3 hours at night. Coughing. Coughing and then some more coughing. It was horrible. All she wanted to do was go back to bed, but she couldn't. Poor thing. I tried cool mist vaporizers, deep cleaning her bedroom and changing her sheets and washing blankets several times a week, cleaning constantly, etc. But nope, the coughing still persisted.

Now, she's on Flovent to help control and prevent her asthma symptoms and we have a bakcup albuterol inhaler if we need it for an attack. Since starting the treatment now over 2 weeks ago, her symptoms have significantly improved. She still wheezes if she gets hyperactive, but once she calms down, it is smooth sailing.

The hardest part - she cries and cries when we use the inhaler. Actually, she screams. I have to pin her down and hold her head. It is quite a process x 2 times daily. But, she's getting better. She'll even hold the chamber that attaches to the inhaler to her face. As can be seen in the posing photo shown above. But, don't let their be a tight seal around her nose and mouth because she'll scream!

Kind of reminds me of my own days when my parents had to pin me down to put eye drops in both eyes. Sometimes it's just not fun being a parent. But, we have to do what we know is best for our children. What goes around, comes around.

The meds are helping and we have a follow-up appointment this week to see what our next actions steps will be.

The Blink of an Eye

Growing up is hard to do. Yup. Especially for a little tot like Ms. Ava. Kyle was cleaning out a few items in the garage and came across an old notepad. When Ava was going through her colic stage and would not stop crying, I would jot down our daily itinerary in efforts of trying to conform to a schedule. Well, get on a schedule she did and thank goodness.

It seems like only yesterday that I would feed Ava every 3 hours and babywear here for every nap. I'm not sure how I would have made it without my baby bjorn. The front pack was the start to getting Ava to nap on her own.

7:00 am - feed
7:23 am - stop feeding
7:55 am - attemp nap, lots of yawns
8:00 am - crying hysterically, had to pick up to comfort, comfort in crib didn't work
8:07 am - down again for nap
8:35am - crying
8:38 am - consoled her
9:45 am - 10:17 - feed (just under 3 oz)
11:04 am - front pack, fussy started
1:55 pm - fed 3 ounces, screamed when I took away bottle. Added .5 more ounces
4:37 pm - finished 2.5 ounce bottle
(I was obviously too tired to finish the rest of the day with our itinerary; and then picked back up again at night)
11:42 pm - fed

The life is a little babe and how dependent they are upon their parents. Makes me feel loved and I know that Ava loved it as well.

Which, brings me to the actual point of the baby bjorn. Ha. I was probably referred to as the crazy lady in Kennewick that would do anything (within the limits) while baby wearing. I'd work outside in the yard, go for walks, get the mail, chat with neighbors, pick up the house, email, etc. I guess you get used to the fact that you are baby wearing and love that you are able to calm a completely fussy, colicy, crying child.

A little blast from the past. My how much time has changed in a little over one year. That post was from 4/16/08 and today is 5/16/09. Crazy how fast little ones change.

Today, she is sleeping like a baby in her crib. There are no bumpers, she falls asleep on her own, and only takes 2 naps a day. She's approaching size 4 diapers, is completely weaned off all bottles and has been for some time now, loves her silky blankies and will carry them all around the house, and is still a binky-loving baby.

Don't blink. Seriously. She's growing up so fast.

Note: Her favorites at naptime - binky in mouth and lots of blankies in bed. For Ava, that is the perfect nap time combination. For mommy, it was a wonderful bliss once this miracle equation was created because as can be seen from her schedule up above, she wasn't a sleeper. Now, we both can rest peacefully.


Our Latest Videos

Tight Fists

Backyard Play


Baby Einstein Obsessed

The Lunch Box Squeal

Make Shift Box Fun

Giggles in the Highchair

Popping Popper

Ava Cam

The Biggest Loser

Sitting here watching the Biggest Loser. This is such an inspirational show and I love how far the contestants have come in such a short amount of time. We all have our own struggles and struggle with our weight and personal body image. They (the contestants) truly reinforce that, with diet and exercise, it is possible to reach your personal goals.

Over the course of the past few months Kyle and I have been trying to be more aware of what we're eating. Trying to make sure that if we eat pasta, we have whole wheat pasta. If we choose a snack, to eat a healthy one, and to eat in moderation. We've considered ourselves to be healthy in the past and to shop at the grocery store in a healthy way, but now, since Ava, we're trying to make even better choices. We are an example for her and we'll lead the way for her. What a better way to start now and make these lifelong decisions that will not only affect us now, but later as well.

Messy Bessy

It's a never ending process. Pick up, Ava mess, and clean up again. Here's one fine example of how "helpful" she is on a daily basis. Thanks, Ava. We love you, too!

Ms. A also loves to carry very heavy items. My mom thinks she's going to end up with hemorrhoids. Ugh, let's hope not! But seriously, she will put up anything and everything that is twice as big as she is and carry it around the house. I guess this example looks like she's headed off to school with her little lunch pail. Really? Not yet, but she's carrying this around the house because it was the biggest object in sight.

My other little obsession ... making hairbows. Thanks, Deanna. Here's just a sampling of what I've been up to lately. It's hard to know when to stop with those crafts! Ms. A already has tons of bows, yet somehow I find an outfit that needs another one.


Spring has sprung ... summer is upon us.

Blessed am I to have a loving husband and an adorable toddler. I enjoyed the day and was able to plant all of my flowers, thanks to a shopping trip to Lowe's and a mother's day gift.

With the planting of flowers, I realized that summer is almost here. Fresh fruit, the smell of freshly cut grass, and family fun! It will be here sooner than later.

My favorite in the summertime is fruit and the fruit salads that come along with it! The colors are vibrant and the dishes just make your mouth water. This is the fruit salad I made the weekend of Mother's Day as my special treat. I couldn't find any good, fresh peaches so I had to resort to frozen, but the dish was delectable and made fantastic smoothies! Yum-O!

The warmer weather has also been bringing us outdoors much more lately. Thank goodness for some sunshine! It was very well needed! Here are some of the latest photos of Ava.

One of my absolute favorites - sneaking snacks! Yes, she was caught red handed sneaking snacks from the pantry. She enjoys the whole nakedness concept when she can and was thoroughly enjoying herself and decided she needed a snack along the way. Thank goodness she decided to help herself to a graham cracker and not something non-baby-friendly. She will go to the pantry, find a box that looks interesting to her, pull the box from the shelf, open the box, pull out the contents to the box, and then proceed to eat what's inside the packaging. I'm horrible at leaving doors open, but have been trying to keep everything closed lately to keep Ava from trouble. Looks like I missed one!