Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Emotions of an Almost-Two Year Old

Right now if you ask Ava how old she is, her answer is "almost two". Getting big fast.

As are her emotions. I think the arrival of her eye teeth have added to her variety of moods (that can change sooo quickly!), but luckily last night I noticed the second eye tooth had broken through her gums, and usually that helps ease Little Miss' discomfort.

I snapped a few pictures of Ava the other day, which perfectly captured how quickly she runs through SEVERAL emotions right now. Specifically when you want to take her picture but she wants to see it before you have a good one to show her.

"Oh, you're taking my picture. Can I see?"

"I want to see now!"


"Oh much better. Thanks for letting me look."

"Goodness look how CUTE I am!!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mommy and Me Days

Right now work seems to be full of trips for both Wynston and I. While the change of pace/scenery can be nice, we both sure do miss our Little Miss when we're gone.

Recently Wynston was out of town for a quick 2 day trip, so Ava and I spent an evening (unsuccessfuly) looking for an Easter dress which we followed with Ava's first trip to Little Tokyo. That kid loves some seafood sauce.

The next evening we enjoyed some time outside in the nice weather, munching on peanuts and waiting on Wynston to arrive home.

"Look at my peanuts Mommy!" Adorably gross.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Miss Katie!

A few weeks back, I attended a VERY fun 30th birthday party for one of my best friends, and one of Ava's best friends, Miss Katie.
Katie and I met freshmen year of college as dorm neighbors back at ol Wallace Hall. We became fast friends, and have only grown closer over the years. Katie brings fun and friendship wherever she goes, and loves Little Miss like crazy (and vice versa).

Ava loved singing Miss Katie "Happy Birthday", even though she was a little young to attend this party. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ava's 1 Year Cranioversary

On 2/13/14 (yes almost two months ago), we celebrated Ava's 1 year Cranioversary (one year post op). If you read this blog you know that during that time all three of us were under the weather with sinus infections. But since then we've all gone back to being healthy and we've made our annual trip up to the St. Louis Children's Hospital for doctor's visits. This will be a trip we make once a year until Ava is in her teen's.

So we packed our bags and took off. We stayed with St. Louis friends Brian and Jennifer the evening before our visits, and enjoyed some adorable toddler play time. :)

Ava and Wyatt
This year's visit also included a CT Scan to take a good, in-depth look at that little skull to see how it looked and what the surgically placed plates were doing. I was very nervous about this part since A) it was supposed to be sedated and B) that's a lot of radiation (Ava's last CT scan was in October of 2012). So we arrived bright and early, with a thirsty baby, and were luckily told that since she didn't need contrast in the scan and was pretty calm that morning that we could try the scan unsedated. We were also relieved to hear that we only need this CT scan once every 5 years. Yay! Little Miss did great, with just a few tears that never spilled out when they wrapped her up swaddle style and scooted her under the scanner. Wynston and I were able to be right there by her side, comforting and reassuring her, while a nurse distracted her with some Mickey Mouse on an ipad. A quick scan and a juice box later and we were on our way out the hospital doors, easy peasy.

We made a morning trip over to Trader Joe's, then headed east to visit Wynston's sister in Illinois. We got to see her adorable baby bump, logged a LOT of good playtime with their dog Copper, played at an awesome park in their town, took Ava through her first carwash (hilarious faces on her part), enjoyed some delicious burgers and steak at Mike Shannon's and had a good night's rest.

Ava loves her some Copper.

Sigh...heart melts.

The expressions on her face during the car wash. So funny.

The park had swings with harnesses similar to roller coasters. Ava was a bit too small for these though.

Our final day up in St. Louis was a LONG one. Longer than expected. They call this visit a clinical assessment, and often refer to it as a team assessment. We didn't get much information about what to expect so I assumed the doctor's we'd be seeing would all be a team environment! Wrong! We saw each and every one individually. First plastics (Dr. Patel, Ava's Craniofacial Surgeon), then Audiology, then Dental, then Nursing, and finally Speech Pathology. For some reason this year we skipped ENT, even though they were on the list (and I'd filed for the PPO Waiver...but I won't even get into that side of things...grrr). We arrived that morning around 8:30 and left close to 2. With a sleepy, overstimulated baby, we were definitely ready to leave. But the good news is each doctor seemed pleased with Ava's progress and current state. We really weren't concerned at all, but it's always good to have a professional agree. Her plates should be dissolving now (that begins 12-18 months post surgery). All in all, a good visit, but one I am glad we don't have to do for another year.

Patiently waiting with other kids in the Craniofacial Institute.

Ava made this sweet friend while waiting to see Audiology.

Once again, I'd like to thank everyone who has sent prayers Ava's way during this last year. Without those prayers and the support we've been given, we couldn't have made it through this journey so smoothly. Life is just so darn NORMAL right now. 12-14 months ago, I could never have imagined that we would slip back into a good routine so quickly and that Ava would recover so well. We are truly blessed. <3

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Is Coming

(can ya tell we've just finished some Game of Thrones episodes?)

The warm weather is right around the corner. Right? RIGHT? I think so. Ava does too. Last summer we enjoyed a LOT of family time outside, and we are making some efforts lately to get outside in the fresh air when it's warm enough.

Watching birds at the bird feeder with Bear.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Recent (Non Rain) Shower

Somedays it feels like little ones are ALL around us. Although Ava and some of her friends no longer qualify as babies, they're still small. And there's the twin cousins. Another Johnson baby girl due to arrive early this Summer. Some friends with babies on the way. They're everywhere I tell ya!

A few weeks ago Ava and I attended a baby shower at my in-law's house for a family friend. Another Casey, in fact, who was very nice and excited to be a first time mommy. Here are a few pictures from that fun afternoon.

Little Miss eyeballing the cupcakes.

She snuck one down while we weren't looking.

This dress is new and it was love at first sight. Red, with tiny hearts and pockets! There was no way I was leaving Baby Gap without it.

Grandma Cheryl, Ava and the cousin Leonnie (I think, haha). That's a lapful!

Holding hands with the cousins.