Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lady Bug Birthday

We had fun celebrating Ava's first birthday last Saturday! We hit this milestone so quickly! The theme of the party was ladybugs, which was one of my childhood favorites. We hosted Aaron's grandmother, parents, and his sister and her family for the weekend. Our friends came over to celebrate with us during the party. One of Ava's caregivers from daycare came to the party with her son, which was fun. We had the party at 3pm to give us time to prep food and I thought later it was perfect since Ava was born at 3:33pm. It turned out to be a sunny afternoon, which was perfect for our spring baby.

Our little ladybug birthday girl was in a great mood all afternoon! She played in the morning and grandma gave her a bath while I was prepping the food. She took a 2-hour nap just before the party started so she was very playful during the party. It was funny to see her look around at everyone because she knew all of them, but I bet she was wondering what they were all doing there at the same time.

I made red velvet cupcakes with red-dyed chocolate frosting. I added chocolate chips to the cupcakes and the chocolate frosting which had brewed co. I also made a two-layer chocolate cake and used the same red frosting and the middle layer was vanilla pudding. The pudding layer was a disaster because it oozed out of the side. I didn't even put it out on display at the party. When it came time to serve the cake, we served pieces of it and it was all gobbled up. It tasted great, but wasn't pretty. I made a veggie pizza, 7-layer Mexican dip, and a fruit platter.

I decorated with lady bug pop-up toys, a ladybug splash mat as a table cloth, and lots of red balloons. I put daffodils everywhere in the house with the ladybug toys. I didn't want to overdo it.

Ava enjoyed opening her presents. She got books, clothes, toys, a cute bunny bath towel, and a personalized growth chart to hang in her bedroom. Grandma and Grandpa gave Ava a kid-sized rocking chair the same as they had for Aaron when he was a baby. Ava's friend, Violet, sat with her while she opened presents. She had fun watching her cousin, Colin, run around the house all weekend, too! Her eyes are glued on him.

Then came time for Ava to try her cupcake. We sang Happy Birthday to her and gathered around her. Aaron and I blew out her candle and then she looked at it unsure on what to do next. I offered it to her and she opened her mouth to taste it. She was hooked! At first, she didn't know what to do, but she tried diving for it to lick it. Eventually, I pulled off some pieces of cake and she was not shy about putting in her mouth. Aaron and I were shocked since she barely eats any food! It was fun to see her eating and with the unmistakable "red" lipstick. Our friend, Shawn, took some amazing pictures of Ava while she ate her cake. I'll post them to the blog when I get the files, but for now they are on my Facebook profile page. He did an amazing job!

We are planning to take some family pictures in April after the spring blooms start coming up. Shawn loves to take photos outside and it will be prettier when we have some green and spring flowers.

On her birthday, it was emotional for me thinking about her birth and how much we've enjoyed Ava's first year! She's truly a dream come true for me. Ava has been so entertaining and we love her snuggles and laughs.

Now some growth stats from Ava's 1-year doctor's visit.
21lbs and 1oz 50th percentile
30 1/2 inches height 90th percentile
46 cm head size 80th percentile

Ava's weight gain has slowed down, but that's normal for her age because she's using more energy for moving around. She's still very tall, which I suspected because we're out of some 12-month clothes already and onto 18-months. Ava is as tall as the average 16-month old. She has a healthy appetite. She still waits for when we're together to nurse. Ava's caregivers are great about feeding her milk on-demand and in general she takes about 9-oz on a full-day. We're going to work with her on her sippy cup skills so she will take her milk in the sippy instead of the bottle in the next couple months. Then she'll get to nurse when we're together.

Ava's tastes for foods is growing, too! Right now, Ava is enjoying:
  • Mashed banana with plain yogurt (sweetened with a bit of maple syrup)
  • Pureed mango with plain yogurt (similar to my morning smoothie which she likes to sip)
  • Steamed sweet potatoes
  • Cinnamon applesauce
  • Butternut squash
  • Likes to lick orange slices
  • Self-feeding puffs, mum-mums, and LOVES yogurt bites
We give Ava food from our meal and it ends up all on the floor! We've been eating orange slices a lot because they are in season so they're coming in our produce box. It's funny because she asks for the rind and mimics us eating the orange. It's really funny because she only does it with the rind and not with the actual orange flesh. She even makes the sounds. Funny!

I have lots of food that I've made for Ava in the freezer and we've avoided store-bought food (except for puffs and yogurt bites, which are great because they're easy for her to eat). She's trying zucchini, beets, egg yolk, mashed avocado, and a soup I made for both of us this week - leek, potato, and peas. She seemed to enjoy it.

One thing is for sure, Ava is very strong willed just like her mommy and daddy. She is relentless about going after the TV remote, cell phone, or the cabinets in the bathroom. She has quite the dramatic flair too when she wants her way! Ava is having fun moving around and she loves to stand up.

We're having lots of fun with our little 1-year old!

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