Sunday, February 6, 2011


So. As many of us already know, Ava had her 6month echo cardiogram and followup in early January. Her cardiologist's immediate thought on viewing the echo results was that Ava was in need of another open heart surgery to replace her conduit with a larger one. He said there was some significant regurgitation going on, which was concerning.

The way things work with our doctors is, her cardiologist "presents" her "case" at a conference they have weekly. Together the team of doctors and surgeons come up with the best plan for the child and their condition. What the doctors all decided was that they want to try to further stent Ava's stenotic pulmonary arteries first. The hope is this will help compensate and hopefully put off surgery for a couple more years. Sounds good to me!!

So Ava's precath appointment is this Wednesday, with the actual cath a week later. We will be visiting the Cath Lab at the UC Davis Med Center, yet again. Ava will be first case, and as usual they tell you to expect to stay overnight, though the only time we had to actually stay overnight was when the stent became dislodged had to be "relocated." That isn't going to happen again, though. Positive thoughts ahoy, this needs to work the first time! This will be Ava's 5th Heart Catheterization in the last two years(double that total) and little miss deserves a BREAK! So bring on the happy thoughts, prayers, etc for a successful cath and perfectly placed stents. Yay! :)

I will update after the 16th, once we are home and rested.

Playing catch up - Ava's First Recital

You know those instant images that flood your brain when you get the news you are having a little girl?! One of those, for me at least, was attending my daughter's first recital. Ava first started showing a desire for dance, and specifically ballet, after she watched an episode of Max and Ruby. Ruby, the older sister, receives a ballet bar for her birthday and practices some moves with her friends. Ava. Fell. In. LOVE. Next came Angelina Ballerina. The girl officially became obsessed. So much that I started looking into classes. We were originally going to enroll Ava at a place in Folsom, but LUCKILY right before enrolling I found out about an awesome and new place much closer to home, right down the street, really. They let us attend a few classes free, to see if the instructor and time was a good fit for Ava. It was. ;)

The first few classes, Ava was very apprehensive and anxious. We had to sit in class with her, but by the end of the class she was joining in with the other girls and learning all sorts of new moves and terminology. It was love at first position. ;)

So fast forward a few months and Miss Ava is getting ready for her first recital! The costume is fitted and purchased. Tickets are sold, flowers are purchased, family and friends are ready to attend, my camcorder and camera are charged and ready to go and Miss Ava has been practicing her routine like crazy, anytime, anywhere!

My little CHD miracle girl ROCKED it!! She totally overcame her fears of new situations/too much attention, went out on that stage, danced her little heart out and totally enjoyed every single second of it.

Playing catch up - Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. I mean, I have SO much to be thankful for, it is a holiday all about family and yummy food. Score! This year, we spent Thanksgiving in Lincoln with Greg's family. The weather was brisk but still beautiful. We played football outside(tradition)and Ava had fun making a mess of the neighbor's clean stack of leaves. :)

See the cute turkey hat? Ava helped me make this. We kind of free handed it using felt and LOTS of glue, and in the end when that wasn't quite holding, staples. Don't judge. It worked in the end and Miss Ava rocked this hat ALL day, even tried to wear it to bed. I would call that first attempt at a free handed turkey hat SUCCESS!

Playing catch up - Apple Hill & Bishop's Pumpkin Patch

We actually took our annual trip to Apple Hill the week before Halloween, but who's counting. The trip was fun, the kiddos went on a train ride, we ate apple donuts and drank apple cider. Ava got her face painted. G only mildly complained of how boring this place was. ;) The weather was awesome and I got some cute shots of the kiddos. Day trip to Apple Hill success!!

We also made our annual trip out to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm out in Woodland. It's a good 45minute drive, but there is SO much for the kids to do and lots of pumpkins to pick from. :) Each kiddo picked out their perfect pumpkin and had fun running through the pumpkin fields like the lil maniacs they are. It was also ridiculously windy out though...

Playing catch up- Halloween 2010!

It's pretty difficult to go months back and remember cute little details of every event. Luckily I have photos, always LOTS of photos, but I really need to commit to making time weekly to keep this blog updated. I started this blog as a way for Ava to have something tangible and accurate of what a truly incredible journey she has lead us on, how we have grown together as a family, and how her story has affected those who meet her. Also, this blog is a great means of communication for family and friends, a way for me to get all the facts and updates out there without numerous phone calls and repeated conversations. So the following few posts will be simple updates as to what has been going on in the world of Ava since the last time I was regularly posting, which was September of 2010. Eek! But once I am all caught up I promise to bring back the weekly updates. :) I hope....

For Halloween Miss Ava was a bit indecisive, she went from wanting to be Jessie from Toy Story, to Buzz Lightyear, to a Princess, to Minnie Mouse. She finally settled on Minnie, and was SO adorable! Ava even got to wear her Minnie costume to her ballet class, major cuteness overload...

See, if that isn't the most perfect lil Minnie I have ever seen, and I am not at all biased. ;) I even have video of the cuteness. This was the girl's first run through of their Winter Program recital, those who attended will see how much progress Miss Ava made from the end of October to the date of the recital. Proud of her!

The day before Halloween, we carved pumpkins. Ava chose.......Minnie Mouse. G chose Jack Skellington(woo!). The jack o lanterns turned out great!

On to Halloween though, the kids had so much fun. Starting with breakfast, which consisted of (very yummy!) pumpkin flavored jack o lantern pancakes, we used chocolate chips for the eyes, nose and mouths. I think I found the recipe on the Martha Stewart website, just add a lil pumpkin puree to the pancake batter. Delicious. For dinner, we made mummies(hot dogs dressed in strips of crescent roll dough), monster mouths(apple wedges with slivered almonds for teeth), and mini mummy pizzas(english muffins, pizza sauce, pepperoni, string cheese and olives). After they helped me make our festive dinner, we took the kiddos out trick or treating. Ava's brother Greg was dressed as Brian Wilson. He ROCKED that beard, and the big perk of that costume was getting game updates at almost every door. :)

Hope everyone else had a spooktacular Halloween!