Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Moving and Shaking

So Monday Avery took her first steps, finally breaking out from standing and balancing to move one little foot forward. She later put 2 little feet forward before collapsing in exhaustion :) and crawling over to where she wanted to be. We were at the YMCA gym and swim and at the end of the gym class there are great bubbles propelled by an industrial size fan and Avery took her spot in the back of the classroom and watched all the bubbles fly straight toward her. She stood, balancing, enthralled by the goings-on.

Anyway, it is only fitting that the day after she takes the courageous move to take a few steps throughout the day, that Mother Earth decided to shake things up a bit for her. Yesterday at 11:42 Avery got to experience her first real earthquake, a 5.6. Apparently she didn't mind. She was at daycare. They threw 5 babies into an emergency crib and wheeled them outside and all the teachers told me how much she loved it. All the other babies were sitting calmly in the crib and Avery sprawled out in the middle, lying on top of some of her little friends. Then apparently she was standing up in the crib watching all the people outside, it was very exciting. It does now cause me more anxiety than it did before yesterday that her daycare is located underneath a 7 story parking garage!?!?! But I am sure it is up to code.

Here's wishing you all sure-footed days.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Birthday Fun

We have a great little park 3 blocks away where we had Avery's birthday party. We were so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family for this special gathering. The first picture is of Brett pedaling the kids around. Avery needed Jon to help keep her on the seat. Maddie and Anna (and an unknown neighborhood girl) had lots of fun, thanks Brett. The 2nd and 3rd picture are of the hit of the party, the ball tent. Avery spent a good solid hour enjoying the ball tent, actually, all the kids loved it. Our neighbors bought it for their son Oskar (above in the brown shirt) and they were kind enough to let us christen it for the party. The 2nd pic is of Avery and her friend Ava (my college roommate and dear friend Kelly and Joel's daughter). The 3rd pic is Oskar, Avery and Gabriella (another sweet neighbor girl, born 2 days before Avery). The park was lots of fun.

Beets and Chocolate

I got it in my head that since I have made most everything that Avery has eaten thus far, that I would also figure out a way to make pink frosting for Avery's cupcakes without using food coloring. Don't ask me why, I know we all grew up on food coloring and turned out just fine, I guess I am just trying to hold it off for as long as possible. A friend at work and my sister helped me in this endeavor and the final verdict was beet juice. I tried boiling beets and using the pink water, but it wasn't strong enough of a color, so I resorted to canned beet juice added to my variation of the Barefoot Contessa's cream cheese frosting and it came out pretty nicely. I also made the chocolate cupcakes from scratch, a la Joy of Cooking black bottom cupcakes without the cream cheese/chocolate chip filling. I then squeezed them onto a pretty silver platter my grandmother had given us when we got married. I was proud of her 1st birthday "cake".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Go(gh)ing to the Getty

For Avery's 1st birthday Jon, Avery and I met Grancy at the Getty. I had this desire for her to see her first van Gogh on her first birthday. My favorite room at the Getty is what I call the Impressionist room. There are Monet, Manet, van Gogh's Irises and many others, all in one room. One of my most memorable life experiences was walking into the van Gogh room of paintings in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. I am not often moved by art, but I really felt the power of one man's gift in that experience. I was always intrigued by Vincent, writing essays about him from grade school on. Anyway, above is the tram ride up to the Getty. Above that is Avery and her first van Gogh. Needless to say, the picture does not do the painting justice. She was much more interested in 3 sculptures she found, rather than any of the paintings on the walls. Specifically she was drawn to a sculpture of 2 girls, sisters.
Below that is Avery checking out some flowers in the beautiful garden at the Getty. It was pretty hot and sunny, so we couldn't thoroughly enjoy the garden, but she got to point at a few flowers before heading home. We also had a nice trip to the beach with Quincy on her birthday morning. And finally once Avery was sound asleep, GG arrived from Florida. All in all it was a very happy first birthday. Wow, how that year flew by, it is truly unbelievable. Happy birthday, Mae Mae.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My First UCLA 8 Clap