Friday, May 31, 2013

Ava - 15 Months

    Before I get started on the [numerous] posts on our recent trip to San Francisco/Napa, I wanted to finish Ava's 15-month post that I started a few weeks ago.

    I wasn't planning on doing another monthly update post until Ava turned 18-months old, but since we got her updated stats at her 15-month doctor's appointment, I thought it was appropriate.

    Even though this age comes with its challenges, including some lovely temper tantrums, it is so much fun to watch Ava learn and grow each day. She is the sweetest thing ever, and I completely melt every time she says mama.

    Ava is so full of energy and she loves to run around and climb on everything, especially the stairs and couch, which makes me so nervous. She is also talking up a storm. I think that is one of my favorite things about this stage - seeing which word she is going to pick up next - and that means we have to start watching what we say. Or teach her the earmuffs trick :).

    She is becoming a little person in front of our eyes, which is so fun and yet a little sad at the same time.

    Milestones/Firsts:
  • Ava has switched completely to sippy cups, which makes me a little sad...but the lack of bottle pieces to wash is very nice. 
  • All four of her molars came in (without much of a fuss). 
  • Below are all the words that were in Ava's vocabulary as of her 15-month birthday. I have listed them in roughly the order of appearance, because I think that is one of the most interesting parts. I also love that there are a couple Spanish words in the mix! 
    • Dog - "Dah"
    • Dat? [What's that?]
    • NuhNuh [WubbaNubs]
    • Banana - "Nana"
    • NoNo / No  [Usually said while shaking her head]
    • Duck - "Du"
    • Dada
    • Bubble / Bubble Bath - "Bubba / Bubba Ba"
    • More - "Mo"
    • Baba [Bottle]
    • Uh-Oh
    • Papa [Gary]
    • Ball - "Ba"
    • Mama [Finally!]
    • Night Night
    • Baaa [When you ask her what a sheep says]
    • Bu (Bunny - My Mom)
    • Hola - "Oh-ah"
    • Agua - "Ah-wa"
    • Bow
    • Moo [When you ask her what a cow says]
    • Ava - "Ah-ya" 
    • Hannah [For both her Aunt Hannah and the Hannah at daycare]
    • Nose - "No"
    • Bye Bye
    • Eye
    • Baby - "Bu-ba"
    • BooBoo - "Bobo"
    • Snack - "Nack"
    • Up - "Uppa" [She sounds like a little, old Greek lady when she says this.]
    • Mmmm [I don't know if this counts as a word, but Ava says it when she thinks something tastes yummy.]
Here is a video of her saying Ava. So stinking cute.


  • She also makes signs for "more" and "all done," can point out all the major body parts, and shakes her head for yes and no. For the "more" sign, she doesn't use the popular baby sign language version, but rather, a version she learned from another kid at daycare. She points one finger into the palm of her other hand. Since she can also say "more," Ava doesn't do the sign that often, but she busts it out when she really, really wants something. It's hard to catch it on the camera since she does it so quickly, but I managed to get this one...

In addition to asking for more food, she says more and makes the hand sign when she wants me to sing another song (which is crazy considering my singing voice) or when she wants us to repeat something fun, such as the fun game Josh is playing with her in this video...


Stats:

  • 24 pounds, 4 ounces (75%)
  • 33 1/4 inches (greater than 95%)

Likes:
  • Favorite Foods: hummus, avocados, bananas, scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, mangoes, watermelon, broccoli, cheese, squeezies, breakfast tacos, cheddar bunnies, and anything I'm eating. 
  • Her "Nuh Nuhs" (WubbaNubs) are still her most prized possession. I seriously dread the day she has to give these up. Her Aden + Anais blankets are probably a close second. 
  • Ava loves being sung to (despite my aforementioned terrible singing voice). When I rock her to sleep at night, she will ask for "more" before I have even begun singing. And when I respond by asking her if she wants me to sing, she nods her head and gets the biggest smile on her face. 
  • She loves pointing at things/people and asking what/who they are. She especially loves to point out "Stella Dog" and "Louie Dog." Also, one of her favorite games is to point to herself, me, and Josh; say who we all are; and then repeat the process. 
  • Ava wants to climb up on everything. I'm shocked she hasn't hurt herself yet. 
  • After her Nuh Nuhs and blankets, Ava's snack cup is her next most prized possession. She yells "nack" whenever she sees it (including in pictures), and will carry it around for hours savoring everything in it down to the last crumb. 
Dislikes:
  • Ava hates having her diaper changed and getting dressed...especially in PJs. As a result, it is my least favorite task as well. 
  • Like a typical toddler, Ava gets frustrated when she can't have something she wants or can't do something completely on her own. She will occasionally pull her hair when she gets really mad. 
Funny/Random Tidbits:
  • When Ava gets really excited, she does a little jig where she stomps her feet back and forth. 
And finally, a few cute pictures of Ava before her 15-month birthday that managed to escape previous blog posts. 






Monday, May 20, 2013

Second Sunday Brunch Bunch: Boulevardier

For the one-year anniversary of our Second Sunday Brunch Bunch, we picked Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District. This time around, it was just me, Jill, and Laura, which is fitting since we were the three in attendance at the first meeting of the Brunch Bunch


I feel like you can't go wrong with any Bishop Arts restaurant, and Boulevardier was no exception. It is a relatively new restaurant, and I had heard great things about the self-proclaimed "French-inspired, neighborhood-friendly bistro."

Jill and I started off by ordering the bottomless mimosas, and they were strong! You can tell just by looking at them...mimosas this transparent mean the champagne to OJ ratio is just how I like it. 


We also ordered the "Le Petit Dejeuner" for the table, which came with buttermilk biscuits, baguette slices, a huge croissant, local honey, butter, and house-made apple jam. Per the waiter's suggestion, we splurged and got the chocolate croissant. I'm glad we did, because it was definitely the best thing on the plate. 


I ordered the "Steak Frites and Eggs." The hanger steak and Béarnaise sauce were both delicious. And the fries were ridiculously good. So was the aioli that is hiding behind them. 


Jill and Laura both ordered the quiche, which is made with house bacon, spinach, caramelized onion, gruyere, and parmesan. The crust was a little hard to cut (a piece of quiche may or may not have been accidentally flung onto the table), but they both agreed that the quiche was amazing. 


We ended the fabulous meal with some birthday cake for Jill, which her sweet boyfriend bought (and delivered to my house) for the occasion. 


And don't worry...the cake looks like this on purpose. Both Jill and Steven love the Cake Wrecks blog, so he ordered a cake inspired by all the terrible mishaps highlighted on the website.

The funny thing is that Jill had the exact same idea for Steven's birthday last week. After he had already ordered this cake, Jill presented him with a homemade cookie cake wreck. They both even said "with sprinkles"...so cute!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

As I mentioned in the previous post, we traveled to San Antonio last weekend to attend the wedding of one of Josh's high school friends. The timing was perfect, because it meant we got to celebrate Mother's Day weekend with Josh's Mom and Grandmother. 

I didn't manage to take any pictures of us at the wedding/reception/after-party (shocking, I know!), but we had such a great time, and Josh really enjoyed catching up with old friends. However, I did take quite a few pictures of Ava having fun at her Grammie and Papa's house. 

She loved playing with Grammie and all her fun toys. 
And she thought her Papa was hilarious!

Ava also finally got to meet her Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Billy. (I love this family picture!)


Can you tell how happy she was to be there?!


And then, just like that, we had to head back to Dallas. 

Ava and I capped off the weekend with a little Mother's Day FaceTime with Bunny. 


Spending the better part of the afternoon traveling with a 15-month-old did not make for the most relaxing Mother's Day, but we had such a nice weekend with family and friends. 

My sweet gifts also made up for all that time corralling a fidgety toddler in the airport/on the plane. 

Josh got me this necklace from Anthropologie that I have been lusting after...


And Ava made me two precious cards at daycare...

Her sweet little face in the center of the flower kills me!

I am certainly one lucky momma...in many more ways than one. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ava's First Flight

One of Josh's good friends from high school got married last Saturday in San Antonio, and it was the perfect excuse to make a trip down to visit both his friends and family. 

In lieu of driving for five hours, we opted to fly to San Antonio. I was optimistic that the short flight wouldn't be too difficult for our 15-month-old. Luckily, Ava's first flight went about how I expected. 

She spent most of her time looking out the window...


And rotating back and forth between our laps...



We also made sure to bring WubbaNubs, snacks, and the iPad to distract her. 
She was pretty fidgety throughout the flight and got fussy at the very end. But overall, Ava did really well during her first flight. I would even call it a success. 


That being said, I don't want to tackle a longer flight with her any time soon :). 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ava's First Rangers Game

With no plans and perfect weather on Sunday, we decided to make a last-minute trip to see the Rangers. Josh has been dying to take Ava to her first Rangers game, and I wanted to go sooner rather than later in order to avoid 100-degree weather. 

I'm so glad we made the impromptu trip, because it was such a wonderful afternoon and Ava had so much fun! She especially loved having an excuse to rock her new sunglasses.


Ava did really well during the game and enjoyed watching the action. 






We had such a wonderful time, and it turned out to be a great game as well. 


This is definitely one of Ava's "firsts" that I will never forget. 

It was a very special day for Josh as well. There is something about a dad and his daughter at a baseball game that is just so classic. 


Thanks to the suggestion of a sweet security guard, we even picked up a certificate commemorating Ava's first game (you can get them at the kiosk near home plate). 

I see many, many more Rangers games in our future. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pinterest Project: DIY Hair Ties

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Pinterest...in fact, my love for the site borders a little on obsession. 

And, to me, the key to Pinterest not being too overwhelming or intimidating is only pinning recipes, crafts, and other projects that actually seem feasible. For example: these ridiculously adorable piñata cookies...not going to happen. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Unlike the piñata cookies, there are a bunch of easy projects to be found on Pinterest, including this simple tutorial for DIY hair ties. As she mentions in the post, these hair ties are everywhere. Several companies make them, and they are way too expensive for what they are. However, they are super cute, don't crimp your hair, and can be worn around your wrist for spontaneous ponytails. 

They are made from "fold over elastic," which I bought in several colors last summer at Michael's in order to make headbands for Ava. I haven't seen the elastic at Michael's during my last few visits, but you can buy it in a plethora of colors on Etsy and other online shops.


I cut mine in 10-inch strips, fold them in half, and then start the knot roughly in the middle. Then you can cut the excess at an angle, leaving however much you would like. Make sure to run a lighter over the edges like she explains in the tutorial, because this keeps them from fraying. 

After making some for myself a few months ago, I decided these would make a great DIY gift. So, I whipped up a few for Erin's birthday last weekend. 

I also thought it would be cute to make a card to put them on. Using some sparkly cardstock (because a little sparkle is always nice), I cut out three notches on each side to keep the hair ties in place. 


Then I wrote a little message on it and put on the hair ties. 


I was really happy with how it turned out. Super easy and super cute. 

To my friends and family who read this blog...act surprised if you get some as well :). 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Visitors + Erin's Fiesta

Last weekend, my Dad, Rhonda, and Lily came up to Dallas for a visit. They made the trek up I-35 for several reasons, including the fact that Lily needed to shop for her prom dress. 

That's right...my baby sister is going to prom as well as graduating from high school in less than a month. Seeing as how she was only five when I left Austin for TCU, this is crazy to me! Now she is the one who is about to be a horned frog. I. am. old. 

Between dress shopping and other activities, the Bratton clan came over to hang out with Ava (let's be honest...Josh and I no longer get top billing). She absolutely loved seeing her Grampsie, Nana, and Aunt Lily. 



After their visit, we headed to Erin's birthday/Cinco de Mayo fiesta. 

Ava had so much fun at the party, and she especially loved playing with her BFF, Abby. 
The little amigas were very easily amused, and spent a great deal of time playing with rocks. (The fact that none were ingested is almost shocking.)

And bubbles...




Which Ava thought were delicious. Lovely. 


Ava also enjoyed hanging out with the birthday girl...

As well as her silly Aunt Jill...
We eventually got Ava to sit still for a while by bribing her with "agua" and food. 



It was such a wonderful afternoon. Chasing around a toddler the whole time didn't make for the most relaxing time, but the weather was perfect, the sangria was flowing, and (most) of our favorite friends were in attendance. It can't get much better than that. 

Feliz Cumpleanos, Erin! We love you :). 



About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing instead. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; pajamas; La Croix; reading; coffee; podcasts; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; bad hair days; snoring; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); Miracle Whip; scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and working out. I think that sums it up.

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