S: Ava's First Year
1: "Where there is love there is life." - Gandhi | Ava Caroline Chavez Born May 1, 2010 at 5:37am 7 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches Happy parents, Andrew & Megan
2: Megan's Baby Shower, LA, March 2010
7: At my doctor's appointment the Tuesday before, I was a centimeter dilated and 90% effaced. That was all the positive feedback I needed to start walking like a mad woman in hopes it would speed her arrival. That Friday, we started the day with a few mile walk with my Mom and bestest girlfriend along Ocean Ave. Then we went to lunch and headed to the Getty Villa for more walking. Every photo my Mom took of me I hopefully said, "this will be great for the baby book as I can say it was the day Ava was born!" That evening, I was reading in bed while Andrew finished watching the basketball playoffs. When he came to bed at 10 PM, I got up to turn the light off and my water instantly broke. I was in a bit of disbelief but excited the moment had finally come. We got to the hospital at about 10:45 and my contractions were already about 5 minutes apart. The labor came on quickly and before too long, my contractions were less than a minute apart and very intense. I tried to hold off as long as possible on any pain medications to ensure I wouldn't need a C-section, Pitocin or any other medical intervention. At 7 cm dilated and with very little break between each contraction, I asked for the blessed epidural (pure magic, I tell ya!). At about 5 AM, Andrew's family arrived in the waiting room and the doctor said it was time to push. Thirty-seven minutes later, Miss Ava made her debut. Her eyes were bright and wide, her skin fleshed pink quickly but it took her a moment to cry. Sure enough it came and we all melted. Daddy cut her cord and we were in the post-partum room within 2 hours. | "You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
10: We've been in awe of every little breath and movement of this little one ever since.
12: We had lots of visitors and my Mom, brother and sister-in-law graciously brought Prosecco and all of the cheeses I couldn't have while pregnant. That night, Andrew brought sushi from our favorite sushi restaurant and we feasted on all of the raw fish I had so craved while pregnant. We were discharged on Sunday at noon despite the clinical staff letting us know we could stay until Monday. We were too anxious to show Ava her home and all of the wonderful gifts friends and family had bestowed on us to greet her!
14: Ava at one week old visited Andrew's side of the family; her Nana & Papa, Ma & Pa, Uncle Freddy, and Aunt Marissa for Mother's Day.
16: Girls Trip 2010 | The Baby Squad: Amy, Susan, and Theresa visit us in L.A.
18: "In summer, the song sings itself." | William Carlos Williams
19: Being outside + warm water + pink tutu = happy baby
20: Chapel's Wedding -- July 29 - Aug 1, 2010
22: Ava is 4 months old! | This month: Teething (she can fit both hands in her mouth for her chewing pleasure), swimming (twice!), grabbing for her toys, rolling to one side, sleeping through the night (just once but surely this is the start of something good!), two trips (one to Chapel's wedding and the other to work with Mommy in Dallas so Gigi could watch her in the hotel), and our first date night out without the Monkey.
23: Ava continues to unveil more of her personality to us. She is so eager to smile and engage with you. Her smiles are our crack. We'll literally beg, borrow and steal (at least act a complete fool with whatever face, voice or dance the moment requires) for just the slightest smile. It continues to amaze me how much joy this little one has brought into the world. I have to remember that I've got this little baby strapped in front of me when I see complete strangers smiling and making googly eyes at me or saying "how precious." Amazing that a little one can make us all want to connect to a complete stranger with purely innocent joy.
24: First Dodger Game
29: Jason and Amy
30: Ava is 5 Months Old!
31: Holiday Photo Session | Ava continues to be a very peaceful kiddo and is happy observing and figuring out things. When you pick her up, she will push her hand against your chest and watch you. In her walker, she'd rather watch the wheel turn then play with the big, flashy toys. She loves watching hands - yours or her own. The current thinking is that she'll be a surgeon or a mechanic or a chef or a dancer as she loves things that involve fine motor skills and loves to move. She isn't much entertained by her toys for long but can watch me cook for hours, particularly if she has something in her hands that she can bang on the counter or chew on (two teeth have made their debut!). She is pulling up to stand on her own and scooting all over on her belly or bottom but hasn't expressed much interest in picking up her belly to truly crawl.
32: HAPPY | NEW YEAR | We took our first family vacation where we weren't visiting friends or family but just enjoying each other and being tourists. We spent three days in San Francisco over New Year's and loved every second. Even the rain didn't slow us down! Ava loved the big king-sized bed in our hotel, her first taste of eggs on Fisherman's Wharf and all of the people watching as we walked around the city and rode the cable cars.
34: Ava is 9 Months Old
36: Wow. 10 months. It is amazing to me to think that in 2 months you will have been with us for a year. I specifically remember that first morning with you. I suppose you could call it our first morning because the time had an AM after it but the sun wasn’t up and certainly neither was most of civilization. But you and I were. I distinctly thought about this being the first day of your life. Who will you be? What will you do? These little hands. What would they accomplish? Whose hands would they hold and would they be good to you? What I didn’t truly appreciate was that you were you the moment those first cells divided in my tummy. I had a hint with the way you sneezed that night. Crazy, I know. That night you sneezed with such conviction and I saw you very directly tell me when you were hungry and when you just needed some comfort. It was the first hint of many that has continued to underscore the personality I see unfolding before me. My sweet Ava. You have added such a magical element and truly the third peg to our family stool. Your willfulness and sense of self just amazes me. You hardly ever cry most times you fall and you have never been the child afraid to let go when they stand or been afraid to challenge me when I say no to a new situation the first few times. Your self control after that is remarkable to me.
37: Your sense of self and fearlessness is a self assurance I can only imagine that I had from the start. I found it through trial and error. I know it has always been an innate part of you. Tonight when your Daddy and I were dancing with you in the living room and you bestowed that magical sheer glee on us, I suddenly couldn’t remember life without you. This third person in my relationship I so treasured with your Daddy only made more special by you. I worried about this. What would a third person mean? Would we mean different things to each other? Would we be more removed? What I didn’t know then is the richness and the depth it would bring to us. We further evolve into this solidarity of ensuring you have all of the tools you need to be the best you you can be yet treasuring even more this unique bond we have always shared. My history and your Daddy’s means we know the value of specific boundaries and strictness all in an effort to give you the instruments to be all that you can. I see you already responding to this—challenging us and then showing your self-awareness by getting close but not doing. I so believe in you sweet girl. I know you will live your life to the fullest and I can’t wait to be in the sidelines cheering you on.
38: Cake Smash Photo Session She had way too much fun playing and eating (!) the cake even though she was tentative at first. It was her first taste of sweets and I think it is safe to say that she is a fan!
40: It was a flurry of activity as everyone came together to help make food and put up decorations.
45: Ava is 1 year old!