Sunday, January 31, 2010

Of Snow and Scandal

The snow is not melting. Today the low was supposed to be 32, but we didn't make it to 27. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shimmery frosting that makes even on-campus housing look magical. However, I think the time spent indoors is encouraging my often overactive imagination to a point of borderline insanity. I’m afraid to talk to Josh and Ava about my observations, as we may be stuck together in 600 square feet for at least another 36 hours. I love them too much to frighten them. So, my blog faithful, the task of indulging my musings falls to you.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we’ve moved Ava’s dollhouse into the living room. The dollhouse has a revolving door for stray residents of The Hundred Acre Woods or Disney Princesses. While I often find myself longing for Norah Loving’s cozy laundry room, I never envy the too-often dinner guests of six doe-eyed princesses. Norah, the dollhouse mom, looks great for a woman who birthed three kiddos, most recently a set of twins. But with her frizzy hair and nursed-for-too-long chest I often worry about her and Nat’s relationship. Today as Ava was napping I began the task of gathering up the toys so that we could walk through our living room. Josh was outside scraping ice from our car doors so it was only fair that I work too. Imagine my disgust when I found Nat Loving, dollhouse dad, and Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, nestled a little too snuggly beneath the love seat. He just stared at me with his plastic poker face full of excuses like, “Ava put us there,” and “It’s really drafty in here.” Whatever Nat, I wasn’t born last night. All of my lingering fears for Norah materialized in that moment. As I write this Nat and Norah are sitting in their bedroom talking things out I guess. I don’t know how she can stand it. I can’t even look him in the eye.

Am I crazy? If so I come by it naturally. When I was in middle school my mom was convinced that the meteorologist on the channel 8 news detested the female anchorwoman. “Look at how he cut his eyes at her,” she’d say as my dad and I stifled a giggle. When the meteorologist moved to a new network she was even more confident in her suspicions. Once, when my sister was about three-years-old, we were sitting at the end of our sidewalk waiting for a family friend to pick us up. We had been close friends with their family for years, and she was rescuing us from our new baby brother. Sarah looked at me with a gleam in her eye and said, “Hey Autumn, when Mith Rayeanne geth here leth tell her my name ith Otha-thuth-thuth.” Problem 1: Obviously Rayeanne knew her name, and 2: Why would a sweet little girl with a lisp choose a name with five S’s in it? Thee?, See? Nuts!

Sometimes it’s easier to just accept the crazy and go with it. All I can say is Nat Loving better watch himself, I saw that Target had Ken dolls on sale this week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Texans

We are so blessed to have sweet family (mostly great-grandparents) who sent cards to Ava for her third birthday. She loves receiving mail and was surprised to see green stuff inside of the cards. After thinking about how to use her birthday money for a while we decided to put it toward dance classes. A local church has a very low-stress, low-cost, age-appropriate dance class - think of darling tots twirling to a funky version of ' I'm a Little Teapot'. Grace had already been taking the class for a little while and highly recommended it. Although a little timid, Ava seemed to enjoy the class.

On Thursday at 12:00 OU canceled class through Friday. The ice was falling, and local meteorologists' voices hit a frantic level that led us to use words like 'snowpocalypse' (thanks Dean). While the ice-induced shut in was a welcome early end to the week we were still hoping for some real snow. We enjoyed breakfast for dinner with a hopeful eye on the sky.

Banana-pecan and apple wheat pancakes, in true Cafe Cappuccino fashion

Don't worry, we had crunchy bacon and scrambled eggs too.

There's a superstition that if you want snow you should sleep with your pajamas inside-out and a spoon under your pillow.

Hey, we were desperate for snow.


The wind wasn't howling and the ground was powdery soft.

The snowflakes were so large they looked like styrofoam falling.

Happy to be outside

Attack the mommy!

We had to be careful not to walk underneath the ice-laden trees. Branches were constantly falling under the weight. Luckily, they avoided the power lines in our area.

Crazy ice

Catching snowflakes

HLS took a well-deserved break to play with us.

Snow angels

Anyone up for a picnic?

I snapped this picture just before I started this post. You can tell how much snow we've had if you look on top of the mailboxes.

The snow was supposed to stop at 2:00 this afternoon but they've pushed it back to around 10:00. We moved Ava's dollhouse into the living room where it's warmest, Josh is studying and working on his resume at the kitchen table, and I'm just enjoying them both. It's been so nice to be snowed in with my two favorite people on earth. Happy happy me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A very Olympic 3rd birthday

Ava James turned three on Friday, January 22.
She started it off with her favorite breakfast, hot dogs (also known as pigs-in-a-blanket). Josh's schedule is wonderful this semester and he was actually able to enjoy the birthday breakfast with us.

Opening her presents from Mommy and Daddy

With a little help

from both of us.

The perfect birthday outfit

My family came in on Friday evening to kick off the birthday weekend. Ava picked Hideaway Pizza for dinner.

Choosing her frozen yogurt dessert with Uncle Brandon

Loving our Orange Tree treats

Chocolate face

Uncle Brandon and Ava worked on a puzzle while we prepared for the party.

Not sure how we fit all of the cooks in our tiny kitchen, but it worked out fine.

Ava has been taking gymnastics at Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy since August. Most of our friends take gymnastics there too, so it was an ideal location for the party. I kept asking Ava what theme she'd like for her party, Pooh? Wonderpets? Fancy Nancy? All she would ever reply was "Orange". We requested for our guests to wear orange to the party in her honor in lieu of gifts.

A little shy at first

Ready to party

Sliding with Nadia


Gabby loving on her mommy

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Brandon took their orange to a whole new level, decorating their shirts just for Ava.

Sliding with Noah

Hugs for Mimi

Chatting with Gabby

Silly with Mommy

Loving her Baba

Snuggles with Aunt Jaryn

All of the party guests used the parachute to wrap Ava like a present.

Then we pulled and she twirled around and around.

The kiddos played inside the enormous air bubble.

Everybody in

Fun with Geoff and Pops

Going over the rules.
The most important rule: Have Fun!

Trampoline fun

Ava landed funny on the trampoline. Luckily, our resident chiropractor was there for a quick adjustment.

Gabby on the beam

Playing in the foam pit

Julia Kate and Ava jumping in the pit


Ava wanted me to do a cartwheel. Instead I walked on the tape line. I have never in my life done a cartwheel. Didn't want to break a bone before cake.

The 3 Locketts at the 3rd birthday party


The kiddos at the party
(the ones we could round up anyway)

The whole crew

For months we have driven by the cutest cake spot in downtown Norman. Sugar did such a great job making her cake orange and girly, my two requests.

Happy with her cake

Is it time to eat it?

Cake time

Blowing out her candles

Mimi helps her take a few bites.

No one followed our 'no present' request. Have they seen the crackerjack box we live in? We are so thankful for the thoughtful gifts. Too bad Daddy may have to move out so we can fit everything. Here are the kids showing '3'....well, sort of.

Hugs from Gus

We were all thrilled to have an unexpected visit from BART CONNER during presents! Yes, those of you who are slightly older than this blogger, that Bart Conner. The gold medal-winner in the 1984 Olympics.

Ava wasn't so sure about him, gold medal or not.

After sweetly wishing her a happy birthday, Bart left our crazy orange group.

Jack and Julia Kate help Ava sort through their gift.

Daddy helps read some cards from the great-grandparents.


The two best aunts ever! We can only hope Ava grows up to look like a mix of these two beautiful ladies.

With sweet Susie and Geoff

The birthday fairy

Even the Oklahoma sunset dressed in orange for Ava James

Ready for some Ted's Mexican food

The princess and Coach

We are so thankful to our friends and family for helping us celebrate Ava's 3rd birthday! After a year of so many changes, the love we've felt from friends, old and new, and our amazing family has been a welcome constant. We love you all dearly.