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Ava Elisabeth: February 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines Day 2011

We haven’t ever been really big into Valentine’s Day. (I know- isn’t Adam lucky! haha!) I just don’t get into all the hype that is involved with the love day- I would rather be treated good all the time, rather than just one day out of the year! I don’t want Adam buying flowers the week they mark them up extremely high, just because people are willing to to pay for it, so instead he buys me flowers every week (or every other week).


We do still do something small for each other- this year Adam brought me my two favorite treats- chocolate covered cherries from Peterbrooke and sea salt caramels from Sweet Pete’s. I’ve lost 50 pounds over the past 6 months and I’m about to gain it all right back in a week! The sea salt caramels are a little taste of heaven- they are so unbelievably good! I hadn’t had any in 6 months, but I had wanted them, so Adam knew exactly what to do to make my valentine’s day! 


Ava’s Daddy was her valentine- he bought her a caboodle- do you all remember those?! and some play make-up so she can shimmer when she is playing dress up ;)


He also bought her a princess cupcake- Ava’s love language is cupcakes, especially princess cupcakes! When her Daddy handed her the cupcake she instantly became a daddy’s girl!


Instead of trying to go out to eat when everyone else is going out to eat the same night, Adam decided to take Ava on a date. They headed out to Ava’s favorite place- Chic-fil-a. I stayed at home and enjoyed some time to myself- I couldn’t have gotten a better v-day present!!


While they were out, he took her over to the pet store and let her pick out a fish- this was all Adam’s doings- and I will be really quick to remind him of that when it comes time to clean the aquarium! She was so excited about the newest addition to our family. They picked out the pink gravel (of course) and the purple plants (of course) and the fish’s home- a castle (of course).


Ava named the fish Nemo (how original right? I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that as we were getting ready earlier that morning Finding Nemo was on….) I think Adam received the award for World’s Best Dad after a date like this one! She came home and told me all about it! Meanwhile he won the award for best husband by giving me a little time to myself – to enjoy my candy no less! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ava’s Cheese


Sunday Ava was looking so cute in her Valentine’s outfit that I wanted to get a picture with her, however, she is in that stage now where you tell her “Say Cheese!” and she does a scrunched up face with her eyes closed- but she sure is cheesing!!! Haha! I told her that I wanted a real smile and sometimes she cooperates.


Then other times, she gives me this look of, “Okay Mom, I’ll somewhat smile, but just know I’m tired of it!” haha! At least she doesn’t fight me to take pictures.


I actually looked at my camera the other day realized since Ava was about 3 months old (when I got my new camera) I have taken almost 10,000 pictures and with most of them, she has been the subject. Also think about how many pictures I took of her first 3 months- tons! Thank goodness for the digital age of cameras, I would have spent a small fortune in film and processing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Date to the Symphony


Friday night Adam and I had a date! We went to the symphony to hear Tony DeSare sing all about love :) Neither of us had ever heard him, but anytime we go to the symphony we enjoy it! We always say we should come more often, but life gets busy and it slides to the backburner. Before leaving we decided to take a few pictures. Ava was wearing her pajamas already- but we put a bow in so she felt complete ;) haha!


I’ve realized that I don’t have many pictures of just myself and Adam, so I thought it would be nice to take one of just the two of us. Ava thought it was so funny that she wasn’t in the picture, since usually she is the primary subject of EVERY picture! She ‘snickering’ as she calls it!


We had seats on the 3rd row, which was great since Adam looked straight at the guitar player the entire performance! We kept trying to scheme up ways to smuggle the Steinway home with us. Who wouldn’t want that beauty sitting in their house?!My parents and cousins, Michael and Melissa, went as well. We enjoyed a nice dinner pre-concert and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I think a lot of times it takes having a musical background (learning trying to learn how to play an instrument) to truly appreciate the talent the symphony has on the stage.


Ava spent the night with her Nana (and of course the Kitties- who I’m sure were excited to see her leave the next morning! haha!) and Adam and I enjoyed being kid free for the night, since it was, after all, Valentine’s weekend….

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Last Day in Boone


Saturday evening we took a trip to the App State football field to see their facility they had built since we last visited. Big Papa had to give us the grand tour. We started at the very very top, the press box.


We worked our way down through the floors weaving in and out of the various rooms. We stopped in the chancellor’s box for Ava to pose for a few pictures- she is getting really good about posing ;) I think she thought she was something sitting in these seats right on the 50 yard line.


We were looking at all of the rooms they have for the players and coaches and happened to run into the head football coach himself. He talked to Ava a while about her green and white tights- little did he know she is as crazy about football as he is!


The facility is very nice, right down to the black and gold toilets with the App “A” engraved on them- no kidding! However, I think Ava was most fascinated with the players’ lounge area where a few of the coaches’ kids were playing- she made her self right at home!


We did manage to find her something pink in the place- a weight in the weight room of all places ;)


One of the most impressive rooms in the facility is the locker room (of course). It’s a beautiful room with stone walls and columns. Past players are able to pay for a locker and have their name and number on that locker. We found Big Papa’s and had Ava stand inside it.


They had a group of recruits visiting with their families and had some things set up on a table in the locker room. We grabbed one of the helmets and put it on Ava. We had to tell her to hold it since it was so heavy, I was afraid it might break her neck just to sit it on her head.


She didn’t know what to think- haha! It sure was funny looking- she didn’t leave it on for too long, I don’t think she liked not being able to see out of it very good.


Adam labeled her is future little linebacker and I said…Ummm….- NO! :)


After touring the stadium, which is by far the most beautiful facility I have ever seen, but then again, I haven’t seen many, so that may not be saying much…. (no, really it is beautiful) we headed to eat dinner at Big Papa’s favorite- Sagebrush. We knew Ava would enjoy the peanuts the have by the bucket! Before we went to eat Adam had been wanting to ride up Howard’s Knob. It’s a mountain that looks back over the city. The day before Adam and I had taken off on a mini road trip while Grammy and Ava stayed at the house. We were just sight-seeing and he tried to find Howard’s Knob without the map…big mistake, especially in the snow! We ended up in some ‘Mountain People’ areas and kept waiting for people to come chase us away with guns- haha! We turned on this one road and at that point I wasn’t sure we would ever make it home because it was covered- COVERED in snow and didn’t look like anyone had driven up or down it. Although I will say it provided for some beautiful scenery, especially as the sun was setting.


We obviously did make it back home safely and Saturday night before we went to eat, Big Papa showed us the way to Howard’s Knob. We climbed and climbed and climbed! We ended up on the back side of the mountain the roads were really dicey. We ended up deciding to turn around before we got into a situation we couldn’t get out of, especially since it was getting dark. Well, Adam turned into a drive way and went to back out of the driveway and ended up starting to slide. I think all the oxygen was sucked out from the gasp both Grammy and I made! haha! Poor Adam he had a car full of drivers that all knew how to do it better than he was. We ended up (after a little more sliding and several small backwards and forwards movements) getting turned back towards the bottom of the mountain and headed back into town. I told Adam later that I think he was meant to drive in the snow- especially with as calm as he was as we all tried to tell him how to drive ;0

Ava slept the entire time! She always misses the excitement, which is probably a good thing in these situations!


After eating and getting back home Ava was in the mood to dance. Fortunately for her, her great-grandparents are expert dancers. She was in heaven.


I’m pretty sure Grammy and Big Papa were ready to take a break from all the Princess movies Ava asked to watch whenever the tv was on. She wasn’t really into Big Papa’s westerns- haha!


We had a great time and wished we could have stayed longer- especially Ava! She wasn’t ready to leave and has asked to go back to Grammy’s house (or to see snow and ski) several times!


On the way home we pass through Columbia and called Elyse to see if she was free to meet up with us. We stopped and had a late lunch at a place called ‘Lizard’s Thicket’. Talk about an interesting name! It was southern cooking that was a good fit for all of us. Ava like sitting next to her sweet cousin. I think she was almost eating off Elyse’s plate by the time she was done she was sitting so close to her! Oh, and she has officially named her ‘Leesee’- so Elyse you should feel loved now that you have your official nickname ;)


We were ready to be home by the time we pulled into the garage at home, but we were already missing the mountains! Hopefully we will be able to visit more often now that Ava’s a little older and easier to travel with. A big thank you to Grammy and Big Papa for their wonderful hospitality.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Visit to the Candy Barrel


Other than the snow and the mountains, one of my favorite things about visiting Boone is getting to go to the Candy Barrel! Ever since I was a little girl this has been a memorable part of every trip. We hadn’t taken Ava since the last time we were in Boone she was only 5 months old- she wouldn’t have appreciated it. This time we were determined to take her. The child and her Daddy share a special bond over their candy- that’s probably true for just about any Daddy-Child relationship! Haha!


Step inside the Mast General Store/Candy Barrel and you are transported back into a different era. Dozens of wooden barrels line the store and are filled with every kind of candy you can think of. We told Ava to grab a basket and that is all we had to say, the girl knew exactly what to do!


There are 2 Master General Store locations (actually 3, but two of them are less than a 1/2 mile from each other…) There is one in downtown Boone, but it isn’t quite as authentic as the one in Valle Crucis. Adam was adamant that he wanted to take her to the more authentic one. The one with the larger Candy Barrel store in it is actually the Annex and the Original Mast General store is less than a 1/2 mile down the road. Adam hadn’t ever been to the original one, so we took him down there to show him around.


I should have taken a picture of the candy we bought, but I didn’t- shame on me! Ava thought she was something else being able to walk through and pick out the candy she wanted. I think she picked up mostly Smarties and a Candy Necklace and few other pieces here and there. I’m glad we don’t live close, we would spend way too much money on candy and I’m sure my waistline would suffer as well ;)


Besides candy, the mast general stores sells a little of everything, clothing, shoes, vintage toys. Adam wanted a bolo paddle…random, I know! and I bought Ava a couple of presents that she doesn’t know about (they’ve been hidden!). Grammy also bought her a coloring pad with a magic pen. She was so excited about it and couldn’t wait to get back to Grammy’s house to open it up!

I have a feeling this will become a place we must stop at every time we visit!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ava Goes Skiing!


To say I hoped Ava enjoys skiing would be the understatement of the year. As much as Adam and I enjoy skiing we truly hoped she would enjoy it as much as we do. Skiing is our favorite family vacation. We would much rather spend a week skiing in the mountains that we would at any beach or lake, sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong state. I love the cold weather and even though I am partial to my reef flip flops, I’m sure I could make the switch to Uggs with no argument if I could negotiate cold weather in the trade.


As we were pulling out of the driveway on Thursday afternoon, I made the remark to Adam that I was plum giddy! I was so excited for Ava to be able to play in the snow and see how she would do skiing.


We owe Mr. Grady and Mrs. Reba Moretz so much for allowing us to ski for free. They set it up so we can park in the member’s parking area (right at the door- which means alot when you are walking in snow and/or ice!), give us free rentals of our skis and boots, and a locker so we can easily store our things (which also means alot when you have a 2 year old!). We like App Ski Mountian so much because it is easy to get to from my grandparents and very user friendly for beginning skiers- a great place for Ava to learn to ski. They also have a terrain park and its neat to watch skiers or snowboarders jump- but I will say sometimes it causes my heart to stop when it doesn’t look like they are going to complete the jump- we have seen some nasty falls!


There isn’t really any way to practice skiing, especially in Florida. After we put Ava’s boots on we showed her how to snap them into her ski, I knew it would be hard to do it out in the snow, and that was probably more challenging than anything! (I always hated for my skis to pop off because it meant I would have to snap them back on- ughh!)


By the way, are her skis and ski boots not the cutest things you have ever seen?! She was by far the cutest little skier on the mountain!


She was excited to get on the slope! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much for a 2 year old that isn’t ever around snow. I just wanted her to experience it- all the while crossing my fingers for her to absolutely love it. She didn’t have to be great at it- just love it!


By the time her Daddy finally got both ski boots snapped into the skis she and I were both ready to take off! We had decided before hand I would be the one to take her down the slope first and Adam would take pictures and video the whole experience.


Ava and I rode the ramp up to the top of the bunny slope and got ready to head down. I quickly realized that this was going to be a workout for me. Anyone who wants to get into shape just needs to carry slide a toddler down a bunny slope! Ava was so funny! She wanted to hold onto me with both hands and kept trying to lean back into me, which anyone who has ever been skiing knows that if you lean back and let your feet slide they are going to slide faster and faster. I kept trying to tell her to stand up straight.


Eventually I talked her into holding onto me with one hand instead of 2 to see if that would help, you can tell by the tongue sticking out of her mouth that she was concentrating so hard! Every so often we would stop and reset and I would tell her she needed to make a triangle with her skis and I would explain that was called snow-plowing and that it would slow her down. I know she didn’t grasp it because when I stood behind her and told her "Okay, make a triangle!”, she would make a triangle alright, but with her fingers instead of her skis!!


By the time we made it down the hill I was completely drained of any energy I had and sweating to death! I motioned for Adam that it was his turn the next time. I wasn’t sure if Ava was going to go up the hill again, but she said she had fun and wanted to go again.


Adam and Ava started riding the ramp up the hill and he was trying to once again explain the concept of snow-plowing. Because it was a Friday and not a holiday weekend, it wasn’t busy at all, there was no line to get on the ramp, which made it very nice.


Ava and her Daddy made their way down the slope and by the time he had made it down, he agree that it was a lot of physical work. In hindsight I should have gotten some of those straps that keep kids skis pointed in. Having the straps would have kept us from having to stop and point her skis in the right direction since they seemed to go every which way.


We had briefly talked about paying for lessons for her to learn, but I really liked the idea of teaching her myself. I haven’t ever had lessons and I taught Adam how to ski and while I wouldn’t say that I am a phenomenal skier, both Adam and I can handle black diamonds (East and West versions) pretty well, so I really wanted to be the one to teach her.


By the time we made it down a couple of times it was Noon and Ava was tired. I didn’t want to end the day of skiing on a bad note and since we hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep last night I knew she needed a good nap. We took her in and within seconds of taking her boots and jacket off she was asleep. Apparently it was a good workout for her as well!


Ava’s second day of skiing was quite warm, at least for snow skiing standards. It was also much more crowded. Even though it was Saturday, schools in the area were in session because they had missed so many days so far because the the crazy winter weather they have had. However, there were tons of groups who came and usually when you have groups there are tons of people on the bunny slope (at least for the first part of the day).


Since there was a line for the bunny slope ramp, Ava and I decided to perform some cross-country skiing to ski over to an area that was cleared, enough for Ava to ski. We had been talking to Ava about snow-plowing since the day before and she had finally gotten to the point when Adam or I would say “Triangle!” she would point her toes in, however, she seemed to forget what she was supposed to do as soon as she was out on the slope- haha! I think she was just excited and her legs might not have been strong enough to turn her skis inward. Of course, my argument was that I felt those same legs kick me in the ribs for weeks and felt as though every rib in my body was going to break while I was pregnant, there wasn’t any way I believed her legs weren’t strong enough! ;0


She seemed to enjoy the sections of the slopes that weren’t as steep. I think she felt more in control and since it was as steep she skied a lot slower. We did this a few times and even though she never skied without holding onto me- tightly- I think she had a good time.


Towards the end she started to have a meltdown, she was getting frustrated and I wanted to stop before she never wanted to ski again. I’m so glad we brought her and what makes me even happier is that if you ask her if she wants to go skiing again she says “Yeah!”. Although I’m not wishing for time to fly bye (or more than it already does-) I’m really looking forward to how much better she does next year!

We ended up taking Ava inside to sit with Grammy and watch all the skiers while Adam and I hit the slopes for a couple of hours and enjoyed being with each other!


The Moretz’s are always so gracious in allowing us to come whenever we like- Adam and I commented numerous times throughout the weekend how grateful we were for them- paying for lift tickets can get expensive, especially when you spend most of your time walking a toddler down the bunny slope- Ava might not have such a fabulous opportunity at such a young age if it wasn’t for their generosity!.

Ava Elisabeth: February 2011

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