October, Then and Now

 Here is what Ava looked like last October, exactly one year ago.
I can hardly believe how little she was and yet, I remember taking this picture and thinking, "She's getting so big!" 
 One year ago we were still carrying her everywhere, feeding her formula, using the stroller for everything and dreaming up new things to show her.
One year ago, we bought her a stuffed bunny at "Build-a-Bear" which she was was totally unaware of!  We named her "Cotttontail" and this weekend, we got a "Happy Birthday Cottontail" email from Build a Bear, welcoming us back in for a free accessory :)  She knew nothing of that bunny one year ago, but ironically she's very familiar with her now as she has slept with that bunny every day and every night for a year.   And I still remember the joy we felt when we bought if for her.  It was a true "parental" rite of passage.  Never did this verse mean more to me than at that moment, than when my heart was on my sleeve DYING to give her the world.
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"  Matthew 7:11

That was then...
This is now!  
This October, we've got a true toddler on our hands who is toeing the line of "little girl" more and more everyday. 
She's longing for more and more independence and slowly, she's earning some of it.
She has little to no fear in most situations, amazing us with her comfort level in a variety of settings.  She loves her dog Ryley, and all dogs for that matter!  Whenever we come home and Ryley greets us at the door, I'm not sure who is more excited to see whom!
She also loves her gadgets!  Travis calls her "inspector gadget" because she'd rather have a phone, a remote, keys, or headphones anytime over a doll or a toy.  I have to watch her like a hawk when we're in public now because she's like a little radar detector for people's phones.  She immediately thinks she should be able to play with them, and she wastes no time charming people into giving them to her.  Not good!  She particularly preys on the junior high kids at Church and on the high school students at Trav's soccer games.  I'm forever telling them, "No really, she doesn't need that.  Please don't give it to her."  It's never a good scene when we have to give it back :)
She also loves her books and that blanket.  She looks at books all day long and we both read to her a lot.  That blanket goes everywhere with us and she looks for it when it's not by her side.  We also call her "Linus" for that reason :)
Not surprisingly, she loves her Daddy too.  She likes to play with him, chase him, take Ryley out with him, read with him and snuggle with him.  When he's home, he's the one who puts her to bed and gives her a bath.  "Daddy" is always one of the first words off her tongue in the morning and when that front door opens each night, she immediately goes running to see him.  
She loved him a year ago as a baby can, but to see her love him today as a toddler does, is truly one of the best things I've watched this year. 
She's very sweet, but not without her "quirks" too.  For some reasons, unknown to us, she LOVES playing with her wipes.  In fact, she begs us for them all day long.  At first we thought this was odd and not something we would encourage.  Now, we've surrendered to it and we find ourselves rationing wipes on a daily basis, using them as bargaining chips :)
It thrills her to see a brand new package.
It reminds me that I've got to hide them faster!
And she spends her days wiping down every surface she can think of, including her face, her hands and her mouth.  We try to tell ourselves that wipes are cleaner than most things, like dirt, and we now have to buy wipes that contain no alcohol, no perfumes, and no dyes.  Good grief.  A year ago we thought we'd only need wipes for diaper changes.  Now we've become her "wipe dealers."
On a side note, are these jeans not the most hysterical thing??  Her Nana and Papa sent her this western outfit, from deep in the heart of Texas, and we've been waiting for it to fit.  Yesterday, my little cowgirl got her first taste of suede fringe, running down crisp blue jeans. 
And she liked it!
She also like her starched shirt, her pink, pearled buttons, her big, sparkly belt buckle and her pressed collar.  She made her Texas Daddy proud and her Midwest Mommy giggle.  
Thanks for bringing her back to her "roots" Nana and Papa!!  She just needs a horse to go with that outfit because soon, she'll be getting a little cowboy to play with and he'll probably introduce her to the world of guns :)
Last year it was easy to take a picture with my girl.  
This year, it's like capturing greased lightening!
Last year, I thought she was the prettiest, sweetest thing I'd ever seen. 
This year I think the same thing.  


Ron and Peggy said...

Well, I'm having server problems it seems. Hopefully only one post will appear. I was just looking at iphoto and saw a picture of this outfit before I sent it and wondered if she had grown into it yet and here it is! SO cute on her! We will have start looking for another one, she is growing fast! AND one for that sweetie Carter. Can't wait!

Faith said...

The wipes thing makes me laugh - hahaha! And, she looks so cute as a little cowgirl =)

Toni :O) said...

This is one of my favorite posts yet from incredibly sweet and I cracked up about the wipes and the's so funny what they latch onto! Can't wait until little Carter arrives....what a joyous time you're in right now and I'm tickled I get to join in along the ride! Hope your delivery goes extra smooth, I'll be thinking and praying for you!

~Bekah said...

the toddler years are soo much fun and i'm lovin every minute of it but i do miss the little baby I once had. Shelby is soo full of life and personality! She also LOVES her blankie that's just like Ava's!! Shelby's ALSO a HUGE book fan! She'd rather have a book than anything!! Oh and what's even more funny is, I'm doing the owl-themed bedding from target for shelby's toddler bedroom decor too!! It's gonna be one of her Christmas presents even though we're NO WHERE READY for her to be moved out of her crib yet! LOL... I would LOVE to have some wall decals to match and CANNOT find them! where did u get Ava's??
She's a doll and I WISH Shelby's hair was red like her daddy's! :( O