Ava Marie just had her first Apple Butter experience last weekend. We went up to Northern Indiana and joined in on my sister-in-law, Megan's in-law's family event. They make apple butter on a farm every year for the past 4 decades! Last year, Megan and I were both pregnant and this year, the two cousins were there to witness all the fun. We went with Aaron's parents, while he was golfing with his best friends. We came home with 3 pints of fresh, naturally sweetened and smoky apple butter in jars for the upcoming year. I gave her a taste on my finger and she gave me a funny face and then blew a raspberry. But then, Ava took a couple more tastes at dinner with encouragement by Grandma and Grandpa. Here she is lounging with her Great Grandma Berkey on her lap while Grandpa is stirring the apple butter. We just learned that the Aaron's Great Grandmother's full name was Ada Marie, but everyone called her Marie, which is why we used Marie as Ava's middle name. It's so close to Ava Marie. I thought it was meant to be. Great Grandma Berkey tells lots of great stories about her mother being a very strong woman. I know she'll be proud to hear these stories as she grows.
What Ava is up to at 7-months:
- Two bottom-front teeth are out and visible.
- Sitting up for extended periods on her own, but she loves to do a "trust fall" on pillows, in your lap, or on the bed. She thinks it's very fun to fall back.
- Ava is very happy and smiles when I pull out my iPhone! She's conditioned to smile for the camera now. Too funny! At daycare yesterday, Ava had the "giggles." Her caregiver said that she couldn't stop laughing every time she looked at her. Even this morning, I entertained her by jumping up and pushing my arms out while she was in her swing. She laughed so hard!
- Ava is obsessed with movement. Even as a newborn, Ava was obsessed with ceiling fans. She loves movement so much that her hands are always moving. She smiles when the wind hits her face and watches the leaves on the trees move or the flag in our front yard.
- Trouble with daytime naps. I'm amazed by how much she fights daytime naps. Sometimes the one way I can get her to sleep is in the sling or when I lay next to her in bed. I will nurse her in bed and then sneak out. That started with teething and adjusting to her new nursery room at daycare. It's much louder in there with the 12 babies moving around. She's still sleeping very well overnight at home.
- Waving goodbye. We wave to her a lot when we're saying hello and goodbye. The first time I noticed was when I was dropping her off at daycare last Monday. As I walked toward the door in the arms of her caregiver, she waved goodbye. And this past Sunday, I left Ava with her Daddy as they laid tummy to tummy and she watched me head downstairs and she waved goodbye. What a precious girl!
- This coming month, I'm going to re-start her on solid food. I have applesauce and sweet potatoes cooked and frozen in ice cubes ready for her. And this week, I'm planning on cooking up a butternut squash from my produce box. She liked bananas last time so I'll use that to start with again. She hasn't been especially hungry and breastfeeding satisfies her so I haven't been in a hurry to get her onto solid food.
- Ava is very vocal "Dada" "Daw" for Dog. I tell Ava to say "mama" and she replies "Dada!" I know she'll get it eventually. A couple times, Ava has said "daw" for dog when she sees Bena. She loves Bena so much. When Bena comes near Ava, she laughs and shakes her entire body. Ava has been babbling for months, but now she talks all the time, especially when she's playing with her toys when we put her on the floor. She rolls to her side and plays with her favorite toys like the bear head that tops her set of rings. She also likes the cardboard mailers. She won't put it in her mouth, but she likes to bend the paper with her hands and bang it on the ground. Sometimes it sounds like she's singing when she's talking. She likes music and they play it a lot at daycare.