February 2018
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Archive for the ‘Ava Speaks’ Category

We saw the first pictures of our first baby (or the #1 baby as she frequently reminds Merry).

From this:

To this:


I have no idea how that happened. Seven years has gone by SO FAST!

And today – 7 years to the day we first saw her pictures and signed our Letter of Acceptance – Ava came home from school asking me to explain again what adoption really means because some kids have been asking her at school. She asked me if I would have rather she had been in my tummy (I said no, because then she wouldn’t be Ava) and she asked me some questions about her birth mom.

You know, it is freaking PAINful to look at your tiny little #1 baby/7 year old and tell her you don’t know anything about her birth mom. Don’t know who she is, where she is, got zip, zero, nada, nothing. And if it’s this painful to me then it shatters me to think of what she is going to have to process in her heart and psyche – and now I know it’s going to begin sooner rather than later.

Of course she also asked me if she had to get married and seemed delighted when I told her no and explained that she had a choice on who she could/would marry, when she could get married, or even to choose not to get married at all. Not quite sure where that one came from…

In honor of the Year of the Dragon I asked Ava a few questions about dragons so she could clear up any misconceptions I (or you) might have about them.

Here’s what she dictated for me to transcribe:

Description: They are red or green. Maybe gray. Dragons eat gas, chips, cornbread, grass, ham, and fruit snacks. They have wings like butterflies and they flap their wings to fly somewhere to get food. They are so cute. I like dragons, especially Figment. At Chinese New Year, people fit under dragons. (Editor’s note: She’s talking about the dragon dance.)

Where dragons live: Dragons live in China. Not where my sister lives but far, far away. Dragons live in trees.

Size: So big!

Life span: Dragons never die.

Habitat: Cold, rainy sometimes. They live with their moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and their dog.

Diet: (See above)

How do they behave? They don’t listen <insert a grrr and a foot stomp here for full effect>!

So now you know! Hope you enjoyed Ava’s take on the mythical dragon since it turns out he’s apparently not so scary after all.

We wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Just when I think my head will explode if I hear “MamaMamaMamaMamaMaaaaMaaaa” one more time – I heard this tonight: “Mama, I love you more than marshmallows, cupcakes, and frosting.”

Knowing how much she likes frosting (she IS my kid after all), I take this as high praise indeed.

She also gave me 42 hugs. She counted every single one of them AND threw in an extra one “just because, Mama.”

I simply could not adore this kid more.

Ava has homework every week.

Translation: Mama has extra homework on top of the plenty she already has on her own AND has to remember to take the stupid blue folder back to school every Friday lest I get another passive-aggressive note in her folder.

Sometimes the homework is easy. Count thirty things and bring them to school to share. Write down her full name and address. Draw a picture of something round in your home. Stuff like that.

Sometimes it’s not. Letter writing practice almost always involves tears (mine and hers). A discussion of the five senses nearly drove both J and I batty. We alternated walking out of the room while she whined until she finally decided to participate. Teachers? We are most definitely not. Homeschooling is not likely to happen in this house as it would surely drive us to drink (heavily and often).

But tonight’s assignment was kind of fun.

We talked about the things we are thankful for and wrote them down to be posted in her classroom.

Ava’s list included: crayons, books, her daddy, Lambie (her most favorite stuffed toy ever), our house, and her new baby cousin, Victor.

J’s list: family, fire trucks, pumpkin pie, and friends.

My list: Ava (of course), our pets, my iPhone (yeah, I went there), and panda bears.

I think maybe we should do this more often…

1. The way Ava says “I loves you, Mama” 10 times or more a day and gives at least twice that many hugs.

2. That she opened her own juice box and goldfish bag all by herself yesterday.

3. Listening to her sing – loudly – as we walked through BJ’s warehouse: “I love my Mama, she’s so awesome, my best friend forever, I love Mama.” There was no way I was going to shush that song even if she was singing it at tip top volume.

4. How she still clings to my legs and hides her face when she’s slightly unsure of a new situation…but only for a minute and then she usually jumps right in.

5. That she runs to the windows and waves to me every single day when I drop her off at daycare.

6. That she called me a “fashion phenom” last week. For the record I was wearing a Sesame Street t-shirt which, I guess, is the height of toddler fashion.

7. The stranger that approached J (while he was wearing his uniform), Ava, and me at Costco (what is up with us and warehouse shopping?) and shook J’s hand while thanking him for his service – then turned to me AND Ava and thanked us both for our service as well. I nearly cried. It’s nice to know that someone recognizes the role that military spouses and children play.

8. That she can write her first and last name at just over 4 years old (along with Mama, too). She also just signed her first card – love, Ava – all by herself. She can’t do her middle names yet but I blame that on us for giving her so many.

9. How much she loves gymnastics and goes at it unhesitatingly. That girl can work the bars and the rings like nobody’s business and nearly gave her mama a heart attack when she took on the big beam by herself – dismount and all.

10. How my baby still needs a 2 hour nap each day and 11 hours at night and loveslovesloves curling up with us prior to sleep to tell us what her favorite part of the day was. Today her favorite was vomit – which she did copiously after stuffing way too much pizza into her mouth at dinner. I suggested puke might not have been her favorite and she changed it to “when Mama sits for a minute” which is when I sit in her room and read until she falls asleep. Made me happy that she still wants me to “sit for just a minute.” 🙂

And a bonus:

11. How she answers her own questions – something like this: “Mama can I have some candy <insert toy here if you’d like> no not right now maybe later.” Alllll one sentence with no punctuation or hesitation. Apparently in her world it seems  we say no a lot so she often just answers herself. LOL. Makes my job a bit easier sometimes.