Ava's Faves // 20 Months

Sorry for the silence on the blog! The last couple of months have been busy and I'm working on a fun announcement I'll reveal in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, I'll give you a little update on Ava, who's now 20 months. Time really does fly, I can't believe I'll be planning her second birthday soon. My favorite saying is the days are long, but the years are short. There's never been a truer statement for a mother.

It's a real joy seeing her personality blossom right before me. She's so affectionate lately, she'll randomly come up to me and ask for a kiss. Whenever I pick her up out of her crib in the morning she'll rub my back. She knows how to melt my heart! She's also a very strong willed girl and when she wants to do something, she makes it known. For instance, if she wants to play in the backyard, I'll have to listen to her say outside a million times and she'll also grab my sneakers and bring them over to me. I know that determination will serve her well one day! 

ACTIVITIES

Now that the weather is warming up and our backyard has been renovated, we've been spending a lot of time outside. She loves to play with bubbles and kick a ball around. And for someone who doesn't like getting messy with paint, Ava loves to take her shovel and rake to the dirt. Ava will also ask to go out for walks and runs to the closet where we keep Charlie's leash. 

She's been doing a funny thing lately, recapping what she did on a past day. One day at dinner she began telling me a story, of course in her own way. She said, "Dyl Dyl" "Baby Ma" "Car" "Hockey" "Ball".  I was a bit confused when she started babbling, until I started piecing it together. That weekend, Matt took Ava to his brother's house to see her cousins Dylan and Max. Dylan has a car that the two of them sit in and he drives around. Then they played hockey in the basement. It's pretty amazing she told me all this a few days after it happened. 

TOYS

Lately, the toys that get the most use are her puzzles, magnets, and Melissa & Doug Water Wow activity books. The puzzles have really helped her recognize letters, numbers, colors and shapes (although they're a pain when she decides to flip over the alphabet one and leaves me to put back together!).

She also loves any toy that has bubbles. My parents bought her a lawn mower that blows bubbles as she pushes it and we got her a bubble machine, which I think our dog likes more than her. Once the weather gets hot I'll set up her water table, it will be fun to see how she uses it this year. We got some use out of the table last year but she was limited to just pulling herself up and cruising around it. 

Let me know what your favorite toys for outside are! I'm always on the hunt for things that will keep her interested and busy. 

FOOD

If you read Ava's 18 month update, then you know I have a picky eater. She's finicky with her food, one day she'll love something, the next day it ends up on the floor. However, I feel like we reached a turning point! We celebrated my best friend, Erika's niece, Gabriella's birthday a couple of Sundays ago. I warned the group that Ava probably wouldn't eat much of her dinner. Cynthia (here's your shout out!), Erika's sister, made a delicious dinner of chicken piccata, broccoli, potatoes and penne a la vodka. To be safe, I asked if she could set aside some pasta without sauce. Much to our surprise, Ava devoured everything in front of her, loudly saying "mmmmm" and asking for more, as if she was purposely contradicting me. She even grabbed broccoli and chicken off my plate. So, thank you Cynthia, your tasty meal has helped Ava branch out a bit more! The next day I fed her turmeric cauliflower rice with ground beef! I know this probably won't last, since she turned chicken away last night, but I've seen a slight improvement. Another thing that's helped is encouraging her to dip her food in ketchup. She loves dipping... not sure why I didn't try this earlier! 

One thing I know Ava will always eat... Chipotle!

One thing I know Ava will always eat... Chipotle!