Monday, December 28, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm

We found ourselves with tickets for Knott's that had to be used by the end of the year.  We of course picked the coldest, dreariest, most drizzly day of 2009 to go to an amusement park.  Despite the weather we enjoyed a few hours of fun.  Here are Maddie and Avery excited about the train ride.

The girls went on their first ride by themselves, a plane ride.  I thought they were a little young because at the very end the attendant tells all the kids to push the stick forward to bring the plane down.  I didn't think they would grasp this concept so Kelly and I showed them how to push the stick forward before the ride started.  Unfortunately we didn't tell them that they also could pull the stick back so they spent the entire ride soaring along the bottom of the ride. Avery still talks about this weeks later, saying "Maddie and I flew the plane, our plane didn't go up".  Oops!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Red Group Projects

Avery's teacher at school told me Avery does not appreciate the arts and crafts that involve hand and foot prints.  However, that is their specialty.  They make the cutest little projects with poems and hand/feet inspired pictures.  For the holidays, the kids made little paper mache votive jars.  I love the little surprises they send home with her.  Here is a picture of my favorite ones.  Poor little snowman lost an eye.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day Pix

Ready to see what Santa brought

Furry bunny slippers topped off her stocking

Santa always brings toothbrushes for healthy teeth and gums

A baby bed from her friend Oskar

It was a magical Christmas and we were happy to share the day with Grancy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rugelach for Santa

Christmas eve, after ice skating and hot chocolate, Avery and I made rugelach, delicious Jewish cookies for Santa Claus.  They were yummy.  Santa really liked them too, he ate all of them and drank the glass of milk we left. 

pre-baked, I forgot to take a post-baked and on the plate for Santa pic

Christmas Eve

Here is a picture of our 6 foot fake tree that I bought this year.  I decorated it only with wooden ornaments that I got from my grandma and my mom yearly growing up.  They were perfect ornaments for Avery to rearrange.  We also made a homemade tree topper inspired by Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas.  No picture of that though, very very homemade.

On Christmas Eve we went to an ice skating rink in Santa Monica.  Avery was good for one go-around of the little baby rink.  She was so cute in her little skates that strapped on to her shoes.  We tried bribing her to get her back on the ice but one time was all she wanted.

Then she watched with me while Daddy ice skated with our neighbor Oskar and his daddy.  It was fun, fun.  

Hot Chocolate

We were recently taking a run along the beach path and several times Avery would call out from the stroller, "I want some".  "What do you want, Avery? Your milk?" "I want some!"
"What do you want, Avery, your blanket taken off, are you too hot?"  "I want some!"  Whatever.
We kept running ignoring the pleas.  Eventually she forgot that she wanted something.  Then we passed 2 ladies walking with their morning coffees and again "I want some!!"  Only then did I figure out that every person enjoying their morning coffee appeared as someone enjoying hot chocolate.  Avery had her first cup of hot chocolate at Descanso Gardens and it clearly made a huge impression on her.  Once we understood what she was asking for we said we'd have some hot chocolate at home later. We had gotten some homemade hot chocolate mix from a friend for the holidays.  So it was perfect!!

That first fateful day she tasted the joy of hot chocolate

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potty Training

Much like her first crawl and first step, Avery's first peepee in the potty was while she was with Jon and I was at work.  I got frantic pages while I was rounding one weekend morning, I called back, "is this urgent, I am in the middle of rounds", jon "avery just went peepee in the potty, right avery?!", me in a stage whisper "wow avery that is so great, i am so proud of you, okay now i gotta go".  She was very slow to warm to her potty, often refusing to sit on it even with clothes, diaper on.  But we have had major breakthroughs in the past couple of weeks. I am sure seeing her friends go potty at school is helping and she is sort of at that age where readiness is likely. We are trying bribes.  It seems to be working.  Our bribe:  sour patch kids.  Like father, like daughter.  It goes something like, one for Avery, rest of snack pack from Costco for daddy.  We are waiting for the new year to start potty training at school.  I hope that will go well.  I have heard mixed results from various friends in their endeavors, but I think it's about time to really find out how it's going to be. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Red Group

Early November, Avery was transitioned to the next class at school - Red Group.  It is "where preschool begins" at her daycare.  She has nice new teachers.  There is a lot more freedom, they can choose what activity they wish to do.  There is circle time in the morning where they hear stories and discuss things that happened in the story.  Red group is for 2 year olds.  Avery was about 28 months when the transition started.  I was initially worried because she loved her lead morning teacher in Toddler 2, Teacher Beverly.  But she has done great with the transition and talks fondly of her new teachers, Annette, Coco and Ana when we are home.  She also talks a lot more about her friends and who she plays with, what they do, what she eats.  In red group, they encourage independence, there are big stairs leading to the sinks where they can turn on the water, get soap and grab a paper towel and throw it away.  There are 2 little toilets.  This is where she will potty train.  We talk about her friends and who goes potty and who still wears diapers.  I have friend whose now 6 year old was once in red group and potty trained there and she doesn't even remember potty training because they essentially did it there for her and she never had any issues at home with it.  I am hoping we will have a similar experience :)

They still take naps and she seems to nap there everyday even though it remains a struggle at home.  She shares a cubbie with her friend, Miles.  Last week when we arrived, Miles was sitting eating breakfast when we walked in the gate, he said cheerily "Hi Avery!". She didn't say anything, stinker.  Then he pulled out the chair next to him wanting her to sit there.  She chose another seat despite my encouragement to sit with him, stinker 2.  But the teachers say he is her favorite friend.  He is so sweet always and a handsome little boy.  They have been in school together since they were little babies.  I think red group will be a time of great discovery and change.  She often wakes up smiling when she knows we are headed to school and that alone makes me very happy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Descanso Gardens

I have always heard from work friends that Descanso Gardens is a really great place for little ones.  It is far from where we live but near my work.  We were recently visiting friends in Pasadena and decided to take a trip there on the way.  It was really fun.  It was cold but we got to ride the enchanted railroad, a tiny little train, go through a children's maze made from shrubs and see bluebirds, ducks, koi and pretty roses.  I would go back anytime.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

Introducing Sherry

For Avery's birthday my grandmother sent Avery her first Cabbage Patch Kid. As a kid I was obsessed with my 'cabbies', I actually had 17 and loved them all. But the one I loved best was Kelly, my very first Cabbage Patch Kid. She had short brown hair and green eyes and a little scar on her cheek where she fell off my BigWheel and landed on the asphalt. It never did go away. I have pictures from when I got Kelly and even without the pictures I would remember, it was the Christmas when I was 7. It was the first year that they were out and it was all I wanted for Christmas. My grandma had to have her friend at the local store set one aside for her because they were so hard to come by. The whole day went by, all the packages were opened and I had no cabbie and I remember being sad and disappointed until someone mentioned there might be one more present, I think it was hidden in the foyer closet. I tore into that thing, gave my grandma the biggest kiss and then literally took the oath to love and protect my newly adopted doll.

So when Avery's Cabbie arrived, I put her away in the closet. Avery had just fallen in love with Abby and I couldn't bring myself to let Avery get her first Cabbage Patch Kid and not remember it or toss her aside. The other night I realized before we know it the holidays will be here and I could not let her get overshadowed once again. So we had Avery sing her ABC's and count to 5 (it took a few attempts as she still prefers to say 1, 2, 3, 5, 18, 4) and then we brought her Sherry out. Avery was immediately smitten and so excited to hold her. Her real name was Cheryl but Avery found that hard to say, so we renamed her. Within 3 minutes she was saying "Sherry, I love you." She insisted on sleeping with Sherry and she pretty much has gone everywhere with us since. Thanks Grandma for such a special gift! We love you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

musical genius

a few weekends ago, jon, avery and i went to 3rd street promonade to do some shopping. i think we also lured avery there by saying she might get to see some people dancing. 3rd street is an outdoor mall with lots of shops, no cars and street performers. we were sad to see that there were no dancers that time of day, but then we found a saxaphone player and asked avery if she wanted to watch. the introvert in me would never plop right down in front of a street performer, putting myself front and center, but i wanted her to get the best view and be able to really see, so there we went. Josh Remington was his name and he really was a good saxaphone player. He started talking to avery in between songs. he played the theme song from sesame street for her and the pink panther and he would do some little dance moves. avery loved it. he finished the set and came over to avery and asked if she wanted to play the saxaphone. at first she was apprehensive, but he blew and i pushed one key up and down to make some pretty music and then she tried it and smiled. it was a really special first experience with a sax for her. so the craziest thing is that now whenever she hears saxaphone music, even for 10 seconds in between stories on NPR, she will point it out to me, excitedly saying "saxaphone!" and i have to actually stop to listen and then say "you are right avery, that is a saxaphone!".

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Avery's dear friend Anna gave her some of her Disney princess dress up costumes.  We pulled them out recently as she has been much more about dress up since Halloween.  She proceeded to put on every piece of every costume including multiple shirts and skirts.  This was the result.  These pictures also illustrate the difficulty I have in getting a good picture of her.  She smiles, scrunching her eyes closed.  Then I tell her to open her eyes and she can only open her eyes if she also opens her mouth.  It makes for quite a lot of silly pictures.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Disneyland With Friends

We recently took a trip to Disneyland with 4 of my dearest friends and 5 of Averys' dearest friends.  It was a great day.  Here are a few Dumbo pictures, one of the rides Avery loves and loves to talk about whenever we start talking about trips to Disneyland.
Deirdre and Charlotte

Jennie and Ella

Kelly and Maddie

Anna and Ella with Pluto.  Avery was very afraid of Pluto initially but he was great and patient and she warmed up to him eventually giving him high fives.  He spent a lot of time with Anna and Ella having a color-off with them.  One of them would scribble then he would scribble the same way.  It was really cute and they thought it was hilarious.  He overheard Avery say "he is not funny" and he then made an audible laugh.  So now she thinks Pluto is funny.
I so do not do the teacups.  Thankfully Jennie was our surrogate parent for any leftover children.  Avery still talks about Jennie and the teacups.  She got to ride with Deirdre and Charlotte too.
Anna, Ella and William rode with Brandy.  Kelly waited with me since Maddie was napping.
We got to see It's A Small World become lit-up.  It was so so pretty and then there was snow (fake bubble snow, which is the best we can get around here).

We got a great spot for the parade which meant we had a long while to wait before it actually started.  The girls and William had a great time playing ring-around-the-rosy in the middle of the parade route.  It was really sweet.  Avery loved the parade.  Loved it!  It was a great day with great friends.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daddy The Seamstress

Growing up my dad was the one to use the sewing machine, repairing a tear or sewing on a button.  Last Chrismakkuh when we asked my dad for a sewing machine, he thought it was for me. Little did he know that Jon was the one who wanted the sewing machine to embark on a few projects.  One of which was creating a sunshade for our jogger since Avery hates to have the sun in her eyes.  He made it out of a metal frame that can be bent into shape, covered with fabric that matches our stroller and 4 straps that make it adjustable depending on the height of the sun in the sky.  

He has also sewn a pillowcase for Avery's new pillow.  His most recent project was making a too skinny but long blackout shade for Avery's window into a shade that is wider and long enough to keep the light out of her room.  Since daylight savings time she has woken up on the earlier side so we thought we'd try keeping her room a little darker.  It seems to have worked, sort of.  He really did a great job considering he has no idea what he is doing.  He is a regular seamstress which I am sure Avery will appreciate as much as I appreciated my dad's abilities.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Getting our sweet little Abby Cadabby ready to go to our friends' house for trick or treating.
Application of purple freckles (i love that abby has freckles)

Freckles are complete, Abby #1 and Abby #2 are nearly ready to go.

Getting wings

We were so lucky Grancy got to come over to help Avery get ready to go trick-or-treating.
We love you Grancy!

Oskar and his parents came with us too, cute little monkey!

Somebody is ready to go!!
We then headed over to Anna's house where the fun really started.

Wings got a little busted at our pre-trick or treat pizza party, oh well, still perfect.
Her Abby doll and her wand rode around in the pumpkin all night long.

After each house, Avery would say "again?".  She really enjoyed the trick or treating until a little after bedtime, 7 pm, then the meltdowns started.

Good Night Sweet Abby Cadabby, we had so much fun.  Now that she's sleeping I can have some chocolate, who doesn't love Halloween?