Monday, January 31, 2011

The Morning Routine

Do you have any idea on what it takes for a girl to get ready in the morning??

We have to brush our teeth

Take a tubby

Wash our hands

Decide what makeup to wear

Put on our eyeliner

Get dressed

Flat iron our hair (it's not plugged it)

Put our pretties in

And give ourselves a big kiss because we are sooo cute!!!

John, Sara, and Ava

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Recap!

We had another busy, yet fun weekend in the Houghtaling house!

Friday night was uneventful. We went to dinner with my mom to Ernesto's and Ava and I were both in home and asleep by 9pm. We were a little tired from the week.

Saturday morning, we had a playdate with Kimi. Kimi is the daughter of a co-worker who was transferred to our office from the Shanghai office. I went to lunch with her prior to our travel to China and she gave me some tips! Anyhow, now that we are back and settled we decided to get the girls together. Kimi is 2 days older than Ava! It took a little while for them to get used to each other, but they got there. They were so adorable together!! And we were able to get some mysteries cleared up for us, too! Belinda helped translate some things we had been wondering about. Mostly, our gotcha day video. One of the workers had come over to say something to Ava and it had totally calmed her down. We were wondering what was said, and now we know! All she said to her was "No crying". Really?? No crying? Why doesn't that work for me???? :) Another thing we were wondering is when Ava wants picked up, she says "Baba". Well, we know that means father in Chinese. But, not in Shanghai dialect...nope! It means "Hold Me"!!! Woohoo!! I was afraid she was calling everyone father! Haha!

Here are some pictures of Ava and Kimi:

Saturday night, we went to Gymboree and out to dinner again. If you learn one thing about us, we love to go out to eat!! We went to American Table. It was sooo yummy!
Here is my "little girl" trying to butter her bread

And enjoying the it afterwards:

Today, we (and by we, I mean my cousin Lisa and help from our neighbor) scrapbooked all day! We are making scrapbooks of my friend, Tiffany that passed away. It was really emotional but the first one we did turned out so well!! My friend, Sara and I were there for moral support. Here are some pictures from the day:

I know she is in a diaper and her hair is me, you will know why soon!

Can you find Ava?

Ava and Sara

My mom stopped over tonight with her dog, Gracie. Ava decided she wanted to dress Gracie up:

Need a closer look?

Hope your weekend was just as great! We are supposed to be getting big snow this week! Ahhh!!!
John, Sara, and Ava

Friday, January 28, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Adoption Stories

Some of you may know that I am a BLOG JUNKIE! I love to read blogs, specifically China adoption stories. But I do follow quite a few blogs and one that I have been following for 2 years is Kelly's Korner at

Each Friday, she hosts a Show Us Your Life. Usually, it's different rooms of your house or decorations. Well, this Friday, I can relate! It's Adoption Stories!

I know many of you have seen these pics before, but I wanted to share for everyone who else may check it from Kelly's blog.

Our adoption journey began on June 24, 2009. This is when we took the first step and submitted the application. We had been talking about adoption for some time because we had difficulty getting pregnant on our own. After 5 years of fertility treatments, we decided that our love for a child was too strong to continue with the treatments and hoping someday we would get pregnant. After the first initial mountains of paperwork, we received "The Call" on March 24, 2010. About an hour after the call, we received this via email:

Talk about love at first sight!!! After many months of waiting and many more mountains of paperwork, we flew to China on October 20, 2010.

And on October 25th, we met our little girl!!

Meet Ava Katherine Houghtaling! She is the most precious thing I have ever laid my eyes on!

Our family after 28 hours of traveling home from China

And our family today

Ava is adjusting so well! We can't imagine our life without her!! Feel free to read further into our journey!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My child is obsessed with shoes. Plain and simple. OBSESSED.

See these shoes?

This is all she would wear for weeks. No matter what. With dresses, sweatpants, sometimes just her diaper. I would try a different pair and she wasn't having anything to do with it. Just the black shoes.

She is constantly putting on my shoes and boots:

This was our house last Sunday. This was the day after our dinner with Jana and her family. Well, Jana gave us a big bag of shoes.

Here are a couple closer looks for you

She saw these in her drawer and wanted to try them on.

Needless to say, we had to start putting a say in her choice of footwear. John's son Jeremy and his girlfriend, Jen sent her these:

SHE LOVES THEM!! This is all she wanted to wear. Unfortunately, they are a little too big for her. She wore them to school one day and she ended up falling because of her shoes. She got a little goose egg on her head and her first incident report at school.
So, here they are today:

Out of sight, out of mind. They are currently sitting on top of the fridge. And we're back to the black patent leather. It's ok! She can walk in those!!
The other night I took her to Walmart to get a couple of things. I made the mistake of walking past the shoe department. She MELTED down. She wanted shoes!! "Shoes, Mama, Shoes!!!" And then proceeded to scream like she was in a horror movie!!
But I can't complain too much...I'm glad she's a girly girl!!
Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Makeover!

What do you think of my new layout? I figured it needed changed since we are no longer "Waiting for Ava".

Thanks to my cousin Lisa for the awesome design!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Tonight, my cousin Lisa brought over Olivia and Morgan to play with Ava. Let me tell you how much these girls anticipated Ava coming home. They always asked and carried around pictures of her. Well, when we first got home from China, Ava wasn't as receptive as I'm sure they were hoping for. She definitely took some time to warm up.

Well, that all changed tonight!! She had a blast playing with them!! Lisa and I were thankful that they were tiring each other out! :) They ran the circle in our house, tickled each other, and played with the kitchen set. I'm so glad that Ava turned the corner. Here are some pictures to enjoy!

But I have to tell you a cute Morgan story. She is the younger one with the dark hair. While we were in China, we skyped with them daily along with my mom and other family members. Well, one night after skyping with them, Lisa noticed that my mom was also logged into Skype, so she "called" her. So they chatted for a few minutes with Morgan by Lisa's side. Morgan said to my mom "Aunt Bobbie, I have a question. Are you in China, too?" Haha!! So cute!! She probably thinks anyone on Skype is in China! Love those girls!!
Have a great one!
John, Sara, and Ava

Monday, January 24, 2011

Picture Monday!!

Loving her silly straws!

Just hanging out...

Ok, this could have been the funniest thing ever! She is so picky about food on her face and she didn't know it was there!!

Her new hiding place:

She loves to hang out under the table:

Have a great week!
John, Sara, and Ava

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What a FUN weekend!!!

First, let me say...

But even in these frigid temperatures, we still had an awesome weekend!!

Friday night Ava and I went to dinner with my mom. John was having a poker party here, so we we went out for a girls dinner. However, we have ZERO pictures. I took the camera, but forgot the memory card. Took my phone, but left it in car. :) We went to Applebee's. Our intention was Outback, but it was an hour wait and that just doesn't happen with a 2-yr old. Uncle George, cousin Will, and a couple of his friends came over and stayed the night. Will and his friends left in the morning, but Uncle George stayed the afternoon. Ava started warming up and even took a pretend nap with him!

For someone who hates to go to bed, she sure loves pretending to sleep! It cracks me up!

Saturday night we went took a little road trip to Adrian, MI. Another FCC mom, Jana, invited us all up for dinner. It was AWESOME! This chick can cook it up, let me tell you! And everything was made from scratch. I don't even know what that is like anymore! Here was the menu:

Awesome dip with bread, crackers and apples
Cheeze It's for Ava
Spaghetti with 2 different kinds of sauce
Chocolate covered strawberries
And homemade ice cream sandwiches for the kids

Here is Jana and I with our girls:

They turned on the Wii with the Just Dance game and little Miss Ava was busting a move!! She loved it!

Ava and Jewel jamming:

Ava was totally eyeing up the ice cream sandwiches. She kept wanting to switch chairs so she could get closer to them.

We took Ava's jammies and changed her before we left. But not before Jana busted out a little Bon Jovi! And the girls went on Dancing, Part 2:

Tonight, my friend Jodi brought over her daughters. Maddie is Ava's age and Peyton is older, but she is so good with the girls!! Maddie and Ava took a little to warm up to each other, but they came around and played so good!!

Ava loved Maddie so much that she even hugged her! This was a big step!!

Ava and JBV

What a great weekend! I love watching Ava and all of her daily milestones. She is such an amazing little girl! I love her so much!!
Hope your weekend was just as great!
John, Sara, and Ava