Let's Pretend

She’s still little, but this girl grows so much every single day. She’s learning how things work. She’s observing the world around her and soaking up everything. I can’t get enough of watching her.

Call me naive, but I had no idea that kids would pretend this early. I love watching her “cook” and then “eat” her food. She’ll bring me a piece of plastic cake and say, “nom, nom, nom!”

She dressed her dinosaur in her new vest

She loves her baby dolls. She feeds them their bottles and pretends they’re crying. She’ll rock them to sleep and “Shh” me with a finger over her mouth because they’re apparently sleeping. She associates pacifiers with babies and will pretend to cry herself and stick a paci in her own mouth–or mine–and “cry” when she takes it out.

Hey crying baby face

We hear “uh oh” 487 times a day (just a guesstimate). Something fell? Uh oh. Something broke? Uh oh. The dog barked? Uh oh. She ate a raisin? Uh oh. She threw something at your head? Uh oh. She bit your foot? Uh oh. A car drove past the house? Uh oh. Accident? Uh oh. On-purpose-ident? Uh oh. Everything is uh oh.

For those that have asked, her nail is ok. It’s thankfully growing back. She’s no longer on antibiotics or having to wear a protective glove. (And that makes this mama feel much better!)

She’s also gotten taller. We’ll get an official height at her two-year checkup but I know she’s grown because her size 12months pants are finally too short. (The size 18 months are still baggy and sometimes too long though!) She can now reach the kitchen island and dinner table. (SEND HELP?!)

Our immediate goals, whether she knows it or not, are potty training and to end the thumb sucking. So far we’ve had little progress with each… But we’ll keep at it!

She’s still a great sleeper, though she cries at bedtime. It devastates her to be asked to clean up her toys. Yep, she’s a toddler.

I cannot believe I’m the mama to a toddler. She’s nearly two years old and I’m still asking myself, “Is this my life?”

Goodbye 2019!

Christmas was fun. Definitely different than last year. By the second or third gift Ava had figured this whole thing out: she got to tear up paper! She was so excited!

We got to spend amazing time with our families and make precious memories.

I’ve seen so much growth in Ava this month. Especially since Christmas. She got a lot of learning toys. A lot of what I call “life” toys (cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, food, etc.). Even in just a week, she’s learned so much!

She’s learned to climb the ladder and go down the slide by herself. I showed her one time how to put the cloths on her new mop – just like Mama’s Swiffer – and she’s had it down pat since. She feeds her baby dolls and brushes their hair. She can pick out the Sesame Street figurines by name (no surprise there) and feed them to her new dinosaur. Haha! Yes, this girl loves dinosaurs and got many of them for Christmas!

She’s learning to put multiple words together. Ideas together. She’s also learning to pretend with her toy food and babies. So amazing to see her little brain in action. Wheels spinning.

For those of you wondering, her little finger is better. She’s no longer on antibiotics. I’m no longer forcing her to wear a glove. (Maybe now we can finally go back to church and be around other people.) I still get kinda nauseous looking at it, so I can’t honestly tell you what it looks like at this point, but I’ve been told it looks like the nail is starting to grow back. And it’s pink again! Hallelujah!

I can’t believe that 2019 is ending. It’s been a year of growth for us. New address-twice. Learning to walk. A fence for Carlie. All the firsts in our new home. Getting settled. Still learning to live without my daddy. We’ve survived! Bring on 2020!!

Size Matters

Y’all… Ava will be two years old in February. Two years old. And she still weighs just under 20 pounds.

This morning, we got dressed and since we were staying inside at home, I slipped some old shorts on her. Size 12 MONTHS. I just looked over and she’s admiring the Christmas tree… With her shorts around her ankles.

These size 12 MONTHS bottoms just fell completely off of her. Slid right down her waist and to her feet.

Now she’s playing with them. C’mon little girl, grow! But not too quickly please. I’ll miss you being little.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Okay…. So… Most people who know me already know this, but just in case you don’t… I have this weird… thing… this completely irrational weirdness about hands and feet. It’s not a “phobia” per se. I’m not afraid of… Well, wait. I just looked it up. A phobia is a fear or aversion to something. So I guess it is a phobia? Anyway, it’s not hands and feet that I have an aversion to. It’s injured hands and feet. Especially fingers, toes, and nails. See? Told you it was completely irrational and weird.

Actually, I just looked it up. It’s a thing. A real thing. Traumatophobia. An irrational fear of injury. I feel better knowing this. I must not be the only one if there’s an actual word for it, right? Of course, there are also people afraid of clouds and feathers, or the color blue. So… There’s that. People around me sometimes think it’s funny that I freak out over it. It’s not funny. It’s very real to me. It’s serious. I can’t watch cooking shows or anything because you never know when someone on there is going to be chopping and hurt themselves. SIGH.

Anyway… Sunday night I was trimming Ava’s nails. I was biting them. That’s what you do. That way you know you’re not cutting the kid with clippers. You know exactly what you’re getting and you don’t hurt them. Her pediatrician has even commended me on this. I noticed that Ava’s nails were long enough to have dirt under them. Ew. That means they were also long enough to scratch her (or pinch me!). So, I was trimming them… and suddenly I looked up at Chandler and my eyes filled with tears.

“I need help!” I said. “Her nail is coming off. Like… OFFOFF!” Sure enough, the pinky nail on her right hand was coming off. I. WAS. DEVASTATED. Beside myself. I immediately lost it. Fell apart. That, in turn, scared her and made her cry. She wasn’t even upset about the nail. Didn’t even really notice anything was happening. Apparently, it wasn’t even hurting her. It was really hurting me though. I handed her to Chandler and left the room. He took her to the bathroom to access the situation. I locked myself in the laundry room and called my mama to calm me down. I couldn’t breathe. My chest was tightening. (Remember that this is a phobia of mine?) I was a total mess.

Image result for devastated crying

I took some anxiety meds–more than I normally take–and grabbed my stuff lion (Leo). I laid down and sobbed quietly. I kept yelling to Chandler, “Is she okay? Did it come completely off? Is she bleeding?” Ava was (and is) generally fine. It did bleed. It is gone. (God, help me!) It turned purple and totally disgusting. After about an hour and a half, I started to calm down. (Not to say that I haven’t cried every single day since.)

Not only did I hurt my kid. It’s a fingernail of all things. And I ripped it completely off! OMG. Y’all… this level of anxiety is crippling. I’ve been a total mess all week. Tuesday when I went home for lunch, it was bleeding. So I called the doctor. They were unable to work her in until Wednesday morning. I wasn’t so crazy after all! Her doctor said that this is a big deal. Apparently the nail bed leads directly to your bloodstream and she is highly susceptible for infection. Sigh. She put her on antibiotics for three times a day for ten days. Told us to keep it covered as best we could. The good news is that it’s her right hand and she’s left-handed.

Y’all… I need serious prayers. This is a NIGHTMARE for me. And I feel so bad because essentially, I did this to her. To my kid. To my tiny little Ava! (Who, by the way, is nearly two years old and still weighs less than 20 pounds.) She’s so tiny that it’s harder for her to fight off things. This is going to be a long and trying journey for us…. probably more for me than her.

My aunt, Ava’s babysitter, has been taking such great care of her. I can’t. I physically can’t. I can’t even look at it. It makes me nauseous and weak. I couldn’t even go to the doctor with her. She took her. She’s using antibiotic cream on the nail bed. Covered in gauze. Then a finger cot. And a glove. She took baby mittens and cut a hole for the healthy fingers to come through. I’m SO thankful for her taking care of her extra this week.

See her rocking that little glove like it’s no big deal?!? Wow.

I’m hoping and praying that after the ten-day course of antibiotics I’ll feel better. She’s SO great about taking medicine too! The doctor even warned us that it “tastes completely awful.” We’ve had zero issues with her taking it. I’m amazed. For now, we’re going to be staying home with her a lot. Even though it’s covered, I don’t want to put Ava around a lot of people, especially kids, with the chance of germs getting into her finger or bloodstream. (Which means we’ll be missing all the fun Christmas stuff at church! 😦 )I’m not typically one of those “freak out over everything parents” but I am over this. I am a freak. This I know. I’ve never known another person to really panic about fingers and toes like I do. In the back of my head somewhere, I’m able to see how completely irrational I am over this type of stuff… and yet, that doesn’t shake the anxiety. The headache, the chest ache, the inability to catch my breath. That’s what anxiety is. It’s completely irrational. What a nightmare.

Pray for my little Ava. I’m so sorry this happened to you, little girl. I would never ever in a million years wish this on you. I feel awful. I love you so much.

A clue! A clue!

Oh boy. Certainly reliving my younger days. Ava has grown to love Blue’s Clues. I didnt even know it was back on the air until recently. Apparently, the new guy, Josh, is a cousin of Steve and Joe who used to host the show? Suuuuure, okay…

I used to watch it myself. I will also add that I was a teenager when I watched it. Haha. No shame.

She’s not quite at the point of understanding the clues, but she loves Blue. When it goes off and they sing the goodbye song, she tries to sing along and waves and says, “Bye!” over and over to Blue.

It’s so funny how things change. Now, they sometimes receive an email instead of actual mail in the mailbox. Now, the “handy dandy notebook” is also a smart tablet. Crazy.

Blue’s Clues still isn’t as exciting as Sesame Street, but she does love it. And I’m okay with both, because they help her learn. Sometimes we talk about what she’s learned and what they’re doing. I can see the little wheels of her mind turning and turning. It’s amazing to watch. Fascinating.

Let’s Go!

Halloween was fun. I will be the first to say though that this year quickly taught me that it’s much more fun as a kid than an adult.

We dressed as Ace Ventura (a movie character from the early 90s), Dan Marino (a football player from the movie), and Finkle/Einhorn (another football player [turned female cop] from the same movie).

Ava did a lot of walking. She rang the doorbells. She wouldn’t say “trick or treat” but she did say “thank you” most of the time. Sometimes she whispered it. Haha. When we first got started, she took one piece of candy when given the choice. By the end of the night–at the last couple of houses–she took one piece, and asked for another, and another… And another. Haha. She had it figured out and wanted more and more candy. We had a great time but she was certainly tired afterward.

She loved dumping her bucket and going through all the candy though.

Aunt Dabboo helped

She’s learning to pray with us. We all hold hands before praying. She’s got that part. Then I tell her to close her eyes. She lets my hand go with one hand and then tries to close her eyes with her fingers. It’s so funny.

She’s also learned to make a fish face. Instead of sucking her cheeks in though, she pokes her lips out. It makes me laugh every single time.

This past Sunday, Ava and Chandler went on a daddy and daughter date. They had lunch together and went to visit Nana and Papa. I hope they have many more “dates” together in the years to come.

Daddy/Daughter Date

She’s started asking, “Where’d he go?” (Usually in reference to Tag, her favorite little elephant pal, or her precious daddy!) She’s also reaching to turn doorknobs and beats on doors whenever Chandler or I go to a different room without her. “Let’s go!” is her new favorite saying. Not sure where she got it but she says it all the time.

Tonight, she has a slight fever and a runny nose. So, we took some medicine and crawled into bed to watch “The Little Mermaid, Live!” She’s never seen it before! It’s my favorite Disney movie! Makes my heart so happy to share it with her. She actually made it a full hour before the commercials bored her and she got fidgety and wanted to watch basketball with Daddy. Now she’s running back and forth between rooms trying to watch both, I suppose. Also I guess that means the medicine worked, now that I think about it.

She is learning and growing so much every day. I love that little girl so much. I’m SO lucky to be her mama.