Ava and Maya's Big Adventure

Ava and Maya came over last Friday evening for a sleepover!  Yay!  There's nothing that makes a weekend special like some QT with the kiddies!

After we had dinner our first order of business was to make breakfast.  That's right people.  The breakfast that I had planned for them needed to soak overnight, so we had to get started.  We made a french toast casserole introduced to me by my bff CAB

Ava is such a good cook, and she has been ever since she was 2!  She used to love watching cooking shows, specifically Giada, and that girl can emulate mincing garlic like nothing you've ever seen.  She has really good instincts when it comes to cooking and I can't wait till she's old enough to cook for me : ) 

Maya is a copycat.  (As all younger siblings are; myself included).  She wants to do everything Ava does and say everything Ava says.  It's a pretty entertaining dynamic they have going on and it was in full force during our cooking session. 

Then it was bath time.  Children love taking baths at my house.  It's probably because I give them a whole bunch of toys, including squirt guns, add obligatory bubbles and constantly re-warm the bath water to a comfortable temp.  Ava likes baths at the David/Martin residence so much that the next day she said, "Auntie, when can I take another bath here?"  It was so cute.  

Maya slightly teary-eyed because she was cold when she got out of the bath!  Aww.

Her sad face just breaks my heart.  But Maya is known to be a bit over-dramatic.  She was fine after we put her pj's on and she was able to cuddle with her blanket.  (Or "bantit" as she calls it).  

Next it was bedtime.  (Auntie's favorite time).  And Ava's too actually.  Ava very strictly enforces her own bedtime.  One night last year when she stayed the night, we were all on the couch watching a movie and she said, "What time is it?"  Alessandro said, "It's about to be 9 o'clock."  And she said, "Okay, well my bedtime is 9, so can we shut this movie off and finish it tomorrow?"  "Uh, sure," we said.  When we didn't move fast enough for her she said, "Can you guys stop talking, shut the blinds and go to bed?"  You get the picture.  She's serious about her bedtime.

But this time she informed me that she's been going to sleep at 9:30 lately.  And before bed she wanted a snack.  Here's what she said:

Ava:  Oh man.
Me:  What?
Ava:  Oh nothing.  Nevermind.
Me:  What do you need, hun?
Ava:  Well, it's too late now, but we forgot to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  
Me:  [Smile].  Yeah, it is a bit late for that now, but how about some celery and peanut butter? 
Ava:  Okay!  I love celery.  

Seriously could a child be more perfect? 

Enjoying Ants on a Log before bed

After the bath and snacks we took a family pic : ) 

This was the closest Maya got to cooperating.

In the morning, the first thing we did was put our breakfast in the oven, but not before snapping morning hair pics. 

These pictures just remind me of how much Ava and Maya love each other.  Ava is such a good big sister, and says things like, "It's okay sweetheart," if Maya gets hurt or is in a bad mood.  Maya loves Ava so much that she always wants to share things with her.  I have a little gumball machine that all the kids are obsessed with.  Maya asked me about 10 times a day if she could have "some dum" and when I couldn't resist and would say yes, she would immediately run over to Ava and say, "Ava.  Ava.  Ava.  Ava.  Ava."  (Because Ava was either ignoring her or actually didn't hear her).  And when she got her attention she would say, "Ava, I dot tum dum."  (I got some gum).  Maya did this about 4 times this past weekend and my interpretation was that she wanted Ava to think she was cool.  Looking for validation from big sis.  She's so precious. 

While we waited for our french toast to bake, I did Ava's nails.  And not just any ol' paint job.  No, no.  We go big or go home here.  We put fake press-on nails on my little Ava.  (My mom couldn't resist how excited Ava got about them, so she bought them and told her that I would do them for her). 

Why does she look 13 here?

Maya, of course, wanted her nails done too, but Ava and I explained to her that fake nails were for big girls.  (Apparently meaning for 5 year-olds as Ava will be very soon).  

And then finally our french toast was done and we dug in. 

Luckily my mom and Aunt stopped by to help us put a dent in this.
After breakfast, we brushed our teeth, did our hair and took Uncle Drobie (that's Alessandro) to work. 

Then we headed to the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.  I love this place!  It's free, it's fun, it's air-conditioned, it's indoors, and it's in the D.  It's my go-to kid place.  We've taken CJ and Saverio there before and they liked it.  (Although Saverio was slightly disturbed by all of the insects). And I try not to call it the "Nature Zoo" to the kids because they think we're going to the actual zoo and then are slightly disappointed when we don't.  I called it the "Nature Park" this time around and that seemed to work fine. 

Again, Maya not cooperating.

The Nature Zoo houses fish, insects like spiders, bees, and crickets, snakes, turtles and frogs, and there's also a bird watching station that I love.  I'm always amazed at how pretty birds are.  This time I saw a Blue Jay.  I think Blue Jays, second to Cardinals, are one of the prettiest birds.  You just don't expect to see such vibrant hues of blues and reds on animals, but when you do it's pretty cool.  

The turtles were their favorite.

And they had fun doing this puzzle.

Bees!  Ava wanted to know if they were going to get out and sting her. 

And we were just in time for deer feeding, so we were able to do that too! 

This guy was the only male of the bunch and apparently he was the only one hungry.

But us girls were starving, so we headed home for lunch.  Ava had the great idea that we should have a picnic, so I made some sandwiches and snacks-to-go and we headed outside. 

As you can tell from the pics, Ava was focused on eating and Maya was just trying to find a comfortable position to lie down. 

Our next stop was the park, which is right behind our apartment, so we didn't have to travel at all. 

Ava being a freakazoid.

After that we picked Uncle Drobie up from work, came home and watched Pee-wee's Big Adventure.  Ava and Uncle Drobie were really into it; Maya fell asleep. 

But she woke up just in time for me to do her nails right before their mom came to pick them up. 

I had the greatest time ever with the girls.  The worst part about giving the kids back to their rightful owner is the void I feel when they leave.   I miss their smile, their voice, their hugs and kisses and just having them around.  

Later on that week, Alessandro and I were in our living room and he told me to close my eyes.  He found something he wanted me to see.  When I opened my eyes I saw that he found one of Ava's fake nails buried in the carpet.  I almost cried. 

But I should also say that the best part of giving the kids back to their rightful owner is that feeling of FREEDOM!  The only person I had left to entertain was myself!  Nothing that a good book and a long nap can't take care of. 


  1. Anonymous8/05/2011

    I Love your stories. You should write kids book.
    Y didn't u post the receipt for the french toast? hhhhheeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllooooooooooooo. It's not like I'm make it but some1 else might.


  2. Aww, thanks! And you're right, I updated the post to include the recipe. A few peeps asked about it. You should make it for Grandma!

  3. Great blog!! They love their auntie :)