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Ava Elisabeth: April 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Colors and Crafts


We don’t do a lot for St. Patricks day, well actually, we don’t do anything for St. Patrick’s Day, you are lucky if you find green on us- haha! However, I figured it would be a good time to do some things with colors. Ava painted a really good rainbow- I was impressed with how great she did. I marked each line with a color and then she took it from there and painted it all in. I didn’t take a picture *gasp*, but it is hanging in her playroom :).

I also decided since we were working on colors I would let her “experiment” by mixing colors.


I had several glasses with different colors that I simply mixed water with food coloring and let her have fun. She thought she was something else being able to scoop the water and pour in to another bowl and then add a different color to see what “reaction” would happen.


I thought it was a great way to show her that by mixing two (or more) colors that you can create other colors in a very tangible way.


She just had an absolute ball- forget the fact that mom was hoping it was slightly educational! She played for-ev-er scooping and pouring. She did make a good amount of mess, but it was easy clean up!


I’ve always enjoyed crafts but I don’t have much time to do anything nowadays. I don’t think spare time is even in my vocabulary right now ;) The other day I came home and told Adam I was going to start doing some arts and crafts with Ava. She’s really getting to the age that she can do simple crafts on her own, without a lot of help from me. I thought we would work our way through the alphabet, focusing on a different letter each time.


She knows and recognizes a lot of the letters in the alphabet, especially the first several, but I still thought it would be fun to help he associate letters with words. Since “A” is obviously the first letter in the alphabet, we made an apple tree. She colored the trunk and painted the leaves and glued the apples on. She had such a great time doing it.


Now, if you ask her what Apple starts with she knows the answer is “A”!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ava’s Buddy


A while back Shelby and Raeleigh came over to play with us. We had such a great time! Adam and I had just set up a temporary sandbox for Ava and the girls played in it for a few minutes, but not surprising, the mosquitoes started to get the best of us, and we took them inside to get a bath.


Ava doesn’t have any other siblings to practice the “sharing” technique and she loves to have Raeleigh come over and play, but it’s inevitable at some point in the evening she is going to get mad because Raeleigh is playing with something of Ava’s…..

At the store, Ava has a box of toys and Raeleigh was coming up for a visit. When they told Ava she was coming, Ava took a few of her toys and put them in her Papa’s office, we knew she was thinking that Raeleigh wouldn’t find them in there. It was so funny! When Raeleigh got there, Ava was fine with her playing with the toys in the box, as long as she didn’t find the other toys. Eventually, Raeleigh did go in to my dad’s office and Ava promptly took the toys from there and put them in her Gigi’s office. It’s so funny that she had enough sense figure that out!


She loves Raeleigh and always gets excited to see her, but as any child does, she has her moments where she doesn’t like to share, so we are working on that. ;) She recently told all of us that Raeleigh is her buddy! Just yesterday, they were both at the store and walked around hand in hand- so cute!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Disney Part 2


Our view from the balcony of our room featured this landmark- Ava absolutely loved being able to see the castle. I think one thing that sets Disney apart from other companies is their attention to detail. We would come back to our room and if they had cleaned the room you might find something special done with your things (as pictured)


We also would come back from being gone all day and they would have already stopped by for ‘turn down service’ and they would have Ava’s Minnie Mouse or her Rapunzel doll sitting on the bed, just waiting for her to come back and see it.


As we were heading out our last day, one of the maids stopped Ava and gave her this bear (made out of a towel and stickers). She absolutely loved it, I still can’t believe how much she cares for it.


If Disney didn’t do anything else right, they scored big in this little one’s heart by giving her a towel bear- if only we could all be so easy to please! (However, I’m fairly certain she had the time of her life all weekend- there wasn’t anything they could have done better!)


Another highlight of Ava’s trip was being able to ride the monorail. She loved riding it. She didn’t care where it was going, as long as she was able to ride it! We could see it go by from our balcony and she would always yell- Monorail!


Ava and her daddy both liked watching the boats in the lake from the balcony and the weather was wonderful. As I mentioned in my earlier post, luckily I grabbed a couple pairs of leggings and jackets, Ava ended up wearing leggings both days we were at the parks and she wore her jackets as well- of course we weren’t complaining in the least bit- the cooler the better- especially when you are walking all day!


One of the first things we did was ride the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is a lot like the Toy Story Mania ride at Hollywood Studios. There wasn’t a long wait and we knew it would jump up quick, so we hopped on. Ava and her daddy rode it together- they had a good time- I don’t think they did much shooting though ;)


Ava found ‘Bippidi-Boppidi-Boo’ as she has nicknamed the Fairy Godmother. She knows her name is Fairy Godmother, but insists on calling her otherwise. Of course I think its too cute, so I’m completely okay with it! :) She politely asked her as she was signing her autograph book, where Cinderella was, she didn’t think the Fairy Godmother could exist without Cinderella!


Mom and I were in a shop while Adam and Ava waited outside and Adam later told me they stood right next to Mary Poppins, no one was even in line, she had just come out. I asked him why he didn’t let her see her, he said that she kept calling her Miss Pattycake. A friend of ours let us borrow some movies that star Miss Pattycake, a lady who sings and teaches kids about God and Ava absolutely loves them, although she has seen bits and pieces of Mary Poppins, she is more familiar with Miss Pattycake (as that is more her age right now) and Mary Poppins does kind of look like Miss Pattycake.


I have this “parasol” that I have had for years and years and years. Why I kept it, I’m not really sure other than I can remember loving it and playing with it so many times, all these years later, Ava loves it just like I did. I had actually gotten mine from Dollywood and it had my name and a bear painted on it. We passed by a cart that sold these umbrellas parasols and I knew that I just HAD to get one for Ava. After we picked it up a couple hours later, she wanted so bad to carry it around the park open- Adam said we looked like tacky tourists! haha!


Ava loves the teacup ride, I guess it’s technically named The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, I rode this same ride with my dad, time and time again! I’m pretty sure the tradition is being passed down to this father-daughter duo. This is one of Ava’s favorite rides.


We managed to do just about everything we wanted to do and after we watched the parade and rode the teacups, we decided to head home. We were all tired and we knew we still had a little bit of a drive ahead of us. While we were waiting for the car- Ava wanted to get a picture in the carriage outside the Grand Floridian.


We have 2 more days left on our tickets- thank goodness for the Florida residents discount- it makes this vacation so much more affordable!! We haven’t quite decided what park(s) we are going to visit, but I’m sure Ava will enjoy any decision we make- there isn’t anything Disney this girl doesn’t love!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disney Part 1


We haven’t taken Ava to an actual Disney Park since last May, so almost a year ago. This past October, we did take her to eat with Cinderella and Prince Charming and then eat breakfast with Mickey and his pals but we didn’t go into the park. We decided to take her this Spring. It’s way to hot to take her over the summer, especially when we have the opportunity to go any other time of the year. Starting in September we will have to pay for her a ticket, so we wanted to take advantage of the fact that she is still free ;)


My mom joined us and we all stayed at the Grand Floridian….yes- it was so nice!


After we checked into our room, we called my cousin, Garrett, who was in Kissimee for Spring Training and he met us at downtown Disney to eat. Our first stop in Disney was the World of Disney to let Ava pick out her princess outfit. She had been going back and forth between Belle and Rapunzel, so I just decided to wait and let her pick it out down there. (I also brought her Cinderella dress in case she decided she wanted to be Cinderella again!) While we were in World of Disney, Adam and Garrett were such good sports- they were in the middle of princess mania- haha! The were all out of the Rapunzel dresses, so it made Ava’s decision pretty easy, until we found out they didn’t have any of Belle’s shoes in her size. We checked a few other places with no luck, so she just wore her sparkly Cinderella shoes.


After getting Ava’s dress we headed to the Rainforest Cafe to eat dinner. We haven’t ever eaten here and Ava wasn’t too sure what to think when the animals started to make noise. We finally convinced her they were just trying to say hello to her and she seemed to do okay with that. She did think all the fish and rain were really neat though.


Saturday morning the extra magic hour was at Hollywood Studios and I haven’t ever been to there, even when it was MGM, so we thought we would go. I knew there were a few things Ava would enjoy there. Once we made it into the park we stopped to say hello to a few of Ava’s friends- Chip and Dale and Handy Manny



The good thing about being there early was we didn’t have to wait very long at all to see any of the characters.


It didn’t take any persuading to get her to see Handy Manny- I think it had something to do with the hardware in her blood-haha!


After seeing a few of the characters we made our way to the Toy Story Mania ride- wait time was like 15 minutes and we knew that it would only get longer so we jumped in line. Ava wanted to ride with my mom, so Adam and I had a little friendly competition and I had to take a picture to prove it- I won :)


As soon as we finished Toy Story Mania we headed over to Disney Junior Live! I knew Ava would love it since our mornings are all about Disney Junior. The show was cute and had Mickey and the Gang, Little Einsteins, and Ava’s new favorite show- Jake and the Never Land Pirates in the show. She had such a good time.


Didn’t have much time in Hollywood Studios since we had a lunch date with the princess at Epcot at 11:00, luckily its about a 20-30 minute walk from Hollywood Studios to Epcot. Before we left though, I stopped to get Ava a autograph book and pen. I still have my autograph book from Disney, they now make them where you can put pictures beside each autograph, which is really neat.


The weather on Saturday was actually pretty chilly. Luckily I had grabbed Ava a long sleeved shirt and leggings to wear under her princess dress- she would have froze otherwise. We ended up taking the leggings off at lunch, but she kept the shirt on.


After we made it over to Epcot, Adam separated from us and ran to get fast passes to Soarin’. Adam and I think this is the best ride- ever! We love it! (Well, I love it, since I can’t ride roller coasters, this is about as exciting as it gets for me! haha!) Ava had fallen asleep so we strolled over to the Banquet Hall where the Princess lunch was and let her sleep a little longer while we waited on Adam.


When it was time for us to be seated, we took Ava inside and saw Belle, who was taking pictures with each family- you would have thought Ava had died and gone to heaven- she was in awe! When Belle came out to greet her, she told Ava that they looked just alike and she didn’t think the Beast would be able to tell them apart- the look on Ava’s face was priceless- she knew she matched Belle, but for Belle to actually say that they matched- well that was a whole new level! That was probably the highlight of my weekend- seeing her with Belle.


She posed for her picture and really didn’t want to leave- I honestly think if we had left and gone home at this point she would have been just as happy! Belle has become her new favorite princess since Christmas when she received Beauty & the Beast. (I have a feeling Rapunzel will take over the favorite title when she get Tangled).


After saying good-bye to Belle, we went and sat down to eat and allow the princesses to come by and see Ava.


Ava and Aurora


Ava and Cinderella


Ava and Ariel


Ava and Snow White

I’m so glad I bought her the autograph book- she loved asking each of them to sign her book. (And now she loves look at the pictures in the book beside each signature). I was afraid she was a little too young for it, but apparently I was wrong ;)

At Epcot they have a place called The Character Spot that has Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald all in a line and basically you wait in one line and get to see all of them- and it isn’t that bad of a wait, especially considering how long the line would be at the Magic Kingdom for each of the characters.


Ava and Mickey


Ava and Pluto


Ava and Minnie


Ava and Donald


Ava and Goofy


After seeing Mickey and his pals, we headed over to the Finding Nemo area and rode the finding Nemo ride that ended in the aquarium. Interesting fact- the aquarium was the largest in the world until Georgia opened their aquarium in Atlanta. We saw sea turtles, dolphins, all kinds of fish and sting rays. I read somewhere that the dolphins and sea turtles used to be in the same area, but the dolphins, being playful as they are, would barrel toward the sea turtles hitting them and although it didn’t harm the turtles, people didn’t really care for it. I would have enjoyed seeing that happen a time or two. We also saw the workers feeding the manatee. We eventually made our way over the waiting area for ‘Turtle talk with Crush’. I knew Adam would probably enjoy turtle talk more than anyone ;) It was really cute!


After the Nemo exhibit, we had to make a decision about whether or not to head back to Hollywood Studios or to stay at Epcot for a couple more hours so Adam and I could ride Soarin’. Our fast pass wasn’t until around 3:00 so we decided to get all get some ice cream and see what time it was when we finished. We were initially planning to head back to Hollywood Studios and let Ava see some of the shows they have that we knew she would enjoy, but after eating our ice cream, we decided to stay at Epcot and Adam and I could ride Soarin’ while mom sat with Ava.


We were actually going to try and sneak Ava in on the ride as well, she is 38” tall and the requirement is 40” so we thought that we might be able to get away with it. Plus, Adam and I have both been on the ride and knew that it wouldn’t be an issue for her to ride it. It’s not like it goes fast or slings you anywhere, but after seeing how carefully they were checking other kids that were taller than Ava, we knew we would be able to get her on :( Thankfully, Mom volunteered to sit with her so we could ride.


Ava loved wearing her Minnie Mouse backpack. She kept her sunglasses in it (plus it doubled both as a backpack and a stuffed animal!)



Epcot holds their annual flower festival this time of year, so all of the grounds are well maintained (even more than the usual maintenance) and there were all kinds of character topiaries around.


One of the nicest perks to staying at a Disney resort (especially one that is connected by monorail) is being able to hope on and get to the park in a matter of minutes. After we made it back to the room and took a short nap, we decided to take a quick trip over to the Magic Kingdom and let Ava see the castle. We ended up riding the teacups, the carousel, and It’s a Small World. The only part we didn’t think through was getting back out during the show they put on- it was unbelievably crazy. We actually had to be routed behind the scenes- we went out behind the stores on main street and exited out the front. We literally had to carry Ava and fold up the stroller in order to push our way through some of the people.


Ava didn’t seem to care- she was in heaven, enjoying every second being in the most magical place on earth!

Ava Elisabeth: April 2011

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Ava Elisabeth

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