Monday, December 19, 2011

Avery update



1) Avery is constantly saying funny and surprising things, like how she calls meatloaf "meatlove".
2) She asks funny questions like "did you wish you had a brother when you are a children?" I don't correct her grammar with this one because I love how she says "when you were a children", too cute.
3) For a while now Avery has wanted to be an astronaut, she loves the moon and thinking about rocket ships. She likes to ride the rocket ships at Disneyland. She also thinks Santa and the North Pole are in outer space. But recently she's had a change of heart. "I don't want to be an astronaut anymore, I want to be a teacher, like the yellow group (her current class) teachers. I want to be a strong teacher like them. Or a pre-K teacher, they are even stronger. Actually a college teacher because they are a lot stronger." Where do these things come from? (11/4)
4) Starting in October, Avery started taking piano lessons at school with Teacher Mary every Friday morning. She really enjoys it and has been practicing her little songs. I am reminded to ask her how piano lessons were each Friday when I pick her up and see the big LH on her left hand and RH on her right hand and the little numbers on her fingers. Jon bought a keyboard and the whole family enjoys it.
5) This year Avery has enjoyed art class, gymnastics and ballet/tap. She can't do all three classes during the same session so we have to pick 2. After 6 months of gymnastics and nearly learning to do a cartwheel, she elected to go back to art class and has really enjoyed all the little projects, playing with playdoh and painting.
6) Way back on July 10 Avery counted to 100 for the first time. She has a gift with numbers, I think. I always loved math, until calculus. I hope that she loves math too, maybe even calculus, although I won't be able to help her.
7) Avery also has a gift with nicknaming Landon. It started a few months ago when she took a name from a beloved little book "HUG" and applied it to Landon. It has evolved every few weeks since then. Bobo, Sho, Shabadu, Jun, Gogo.
8) We love this girl!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hannukah Song

video

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

So Happy Together

What would I do without my beloved bookclub? I feel so blessed to have five wonderful friends from college and beyond, along with their precious families, with whom to share our lives. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas party at Kelly and John's new and improved house. Our ever-growing families enjoyed an evening of playing and gifts for the kids, yummy drinks and dinner, and the ease of conversation with old friends. Laura and Tim were missed, maybe next year we can all be together!?


Landon and his buddy, Quinn


The big kids in the under-stair nook

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Driving Lessons

video

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Infant 2


Our little baby is ready to transition from the baby room (infant 1) to the cruiser/walker room (infant 2). It is hard to believe but it's true. For several weeks now the teachers in Infant 1 have been picking him up when the administrators visit their room so they can't see how mobile he is. He has been so loved by his teachers Carolyn, Young, Evelyn and Gina. One day when I was taking him home early because he was sick they said they would take Landon sick over some of the other kids healthy any day. He has been so happy and well adjusted.

In Infant 2 he will learn to walk, feed himself, sit at a table for meals, have music/dance time and be reunited with his friends who have recently transitioned too. He will be loved, I am sure, but it will be different. I never thought with Avery when she was a baby "oh these little babies will become her friends in a couple of years" but now I think about that for him. Likely one of these little boys will become a best friend for the first 5 years of his life, so I do look at them differently. Sweet growing babies. The picture above was sent to me by one of his Infant 1 teachers to show him sitting at the big kid table.

So You Think You Can Dance or Material Girl?

video

Karen and I personally guarantee you that our latest video from last night will put a smile on your face. During the video try to listen to a quick chorus line "It's Not Acceptable"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Independence: A lesson (sort of) learned

When I started grad school in 1998, I was fresh out of college. I relocated to a new city where I knew no one and was fortunate enough to make 2 of the most wonderful friends, Angel and Aubrey. When we started school Angel had at the time a 4 year old daughter. I can see her sweet little face to this day (now she is a beautiful 18 year old woman). I learned so much from Mama Bear Angel, she was such a good friend to us youngins. I watched her love her daughter with all her heart. This was something I guess I had never seen from that perspective. None of my friends had kids at that time, we were still just kids. I distinctly remember that Angel would allow Rebecca to dress herself, even if it was a crazy little ensemble. I remember thinking I wasn't sure if I would be able to do that with my own kid, that I might not have the courage. I remember thinking that again once I had Avery. But nowadays, when we don't have anywhere too important to be :) I try to foster this independence in Avery by letting her choose what she wants to wear. I don't even go in her room, because if I did I would probably have to stop her or provide recommendations. Here is the recent outfit that got me thinking to write about Angel and Rebecca. I love and miss them as they live too far away!
Isn't she wonderful in this delightful ensemble!?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Post-bath Hairdo Fun

Tee hee.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Milestones in a Nutshell

First smile 3/1

rolled over 7 times belly to back (so we knew it wasn't a fluke) 3/10
video
Sat in the Bumbo 4/18 - which he shortly learned how to throw himself backwards in the seat so we have not used it much.
Fell in love with the swing 4/20, that love affair was deep and lasted many months, we have worn out the batteries multiple times
First day of school 5/24
Rolled over from back to stomach 6/4
First tooth 6/10
First fever 6/13 - 102.7 (kiis fm)

Scooting backwards and 2nd tooth 6/23
Scooting forwards sometimes 6/25
Started trying to crawl 7/5 in Hawaii for Jennie and Jeff's wedding with his buddy Quinn
First oatmeal 7/13
First formula bottle (boo!) 7/27 - happy 40th birthday daddy
Put to bed awake = the beginning of sleep training of which he did great - 8/15
Tooth #3 8/22, #4 8/25, #5 9/11 - poor kid!! although he's a great teether, just like his big sister was.
He's been pulling up to stand a while now but he has finally (thank goodness) figured out how to sit from a stand rather than standing there crying for someone to help him sit! 9/13.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grandma Jenny and her 99 years

October 20, 2010

Just weeks before Grandma Jenny would have turned 100, she passed away in her sleep. We all went back to CT for the funeral and were able to celebrate Grandma Jenny's life with all of the rest of her family. In all the time I spent with Grandma Jenny, she was always very loving, accepting, bright, funny. I know Jon has so many fond memories of growing up near his grandparents and all the life lessons they taught him. He wrote a nice speech for the family lunch that got everyone talking about how beloved Grandma Jenny was. May we all be so blessed to live 99 years. The rabbi who performed the funeral is the same rabbi that married Jon's parents. We were able to spend time with Jon's cousins for the day and it was so nice to get to meet/spend more time with these wonderful relatives who we do not get to see often enough. It is too bad that everyone is spread all across the country. Here are a few pictures of everyone.




Steven, Dayna, Ron, Dean and Jon

I love this picture of Avery with her Daynie

So we did tell Avery that Grandma Jenny died and that has brought up frequent and unexpected conversations with her regarding death, dying, growing old, do kids die, will you die, will I die, will you die before I die; things we both as parents were not quite, and frankly are still not, prepared to talk about. One of my favorite things she's said recently is "Mom, when I am 12 you will be old!". Great, thanks. Below is a video from Landon's first airplane ride. He was so good, such an easy traveler. I am sorry that he did not get to meet Grandma Jenny. He would have wooed her with his smiles.
video

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Home Schooling

I have a couple of friends who home school their children. I quite admire them, I don't think I could do it. There are wonderful things about home schooling that make the idea very tempting, flexibility being a big draw. Flexibility in how things are taught and when. On Avery's last day at school before maternity leave Teacher Alma handed me a folder with Avery's first 13 or so letters as well as cut out letters and pictures for the remaining letters. Each week at school Blue Group has a letter of the day. They have a project where they glue the cutout letter onto a paper along with say apples cut out from construction paper for the letter A. They encouraged me to finish up the alphabet by the time we got back to school in late April.
I am definitely not cut out to be a preschool or elementary teacher and here are some prime examples of why:

My moon looks like a banana and how about that mouth with teeth. The mountains are okay. Lastly my mailbox, if she had properly glued the mailbox it would have looked much better but instead it's on it's side and the flag is on the opposite side of the paper.
Is that the saddest one-eyed octopus you ever saw? I don't even know what those green things are... Diamond doesn't start with O, neither does leaf... I have no idea.

I think this one speaks for itself. Crazy pig.

Anyway we made it all the way through the letter U. Thankfully they sent home some umbrellas in the folder for Avery to glue on the paper so I didn't have to torture myself trying to cut out umbrellas or ukuleles. Avery went back to school April 26 and she was so happy to be there, it made me so happy. I was a bit disappointed to see the letter Z project posted all over the walls of Blue Group. We almost made it to the end, only 5 letters shy. Let's see how these last ones turn out, I am sure my zebra will be comparable to Teacher Edna's zebra.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Redondo Beach Pier

April 22 our new neighbors were kind enough to offer to babysit for the kids so Jon and I could go out to dinner for my birthday (35!) and our anniversary (7!). We went to Baleen, a restaurant near the Redondo Beach Pier, and we saw a bunch of sea lions out on the rock jetty. We talked about how Avery would like to see this so the next day we took a little family trip to Fisherman's wharf. It is an interesting place, kind of old school marina people, bars, restaurants, boats to see. We happened upon an arcade, played a little air hockey, let Avery play a bean bag toss game and ride a pretend pony.
She did so well at the bean toss game that she got to pick a prize. She picked a blow-up, 4 foot tall giraffe that she named Lucy. I told her if Quincy got a hold of Lucy that he would pop her, so now Lucy lives in Avery's closet. Lucy is a very happy giraffe.



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Santa Barbara

My best friend since junior high, Jenny, and her family recently bought a house in Santa Barbara. They were amongst our few friends who waited out the housing bubble with us, renting while the prices of real estate sky-rocketed, waiting until the prices dropped to make our move into home ownership. We drove up this weekend to see their beautiful new house and had such a nice visit. We enjoyed each others company, a yummy lunch, a walk across the creek to go feed the horses, and exploring the outdoors and all the neat features inside the house. James was born 3 months before Landon and the girls always enjoy their time together. And it goes without saying that I enjoy catching up with Jenny anytime, anywhere. We look forward to making more memories together in both of our new houses.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Lesson in Sleep Training

Last night Landon decided to give us a little lesson in sleep training. At age 5 months I finally broke down and we sleep trained Avery in order to survive my commute and workdays. Waking up 2-3 times per night was not an option. It was not an easy process, letting her cry herself to sleep. In the end she became a great sleeper after only 9 nights and each night got easier but it was kind of painful. So, fast forward to now. This boy. He had been sort of sleeping well the past few nights but I was waking him up around 10 or 11 to feed him. Last night, I decided to see what would happen if I just put him to bed after the 8 pm feed. And holy moly, he slept until 630 this morning. He is saying "hello, let me sleep". After all this big boy doubled his birth weight at 9 weeks, exactly 12 lb 14 oz at his 2 month appt. Sweet chunky boy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Really?!?

Last night Avery woke (us) up 4 times (what?!?!) because there were (non-existent) bugs in her room. I nearly wanted to scream every time but I refrained, eventually sending Jon in to deal with the later bug freak-outs. Then around 4 am Quincy puked all over our new carpet in our bedroom. And of course that's the night that Landon slept all (all!!!) night long. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry so I did neither, or maybe I did cry a little.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Short Fat Fry

Today we went to see Dr. Woo for Landon's 2 month appointment. No real big questions for him. Just curious to see how much he weighed. I was guessing 12lb, we looked back to see Avery was 11lb 7oz at that same appt. Well, he was 12 lb 14 oz, he exactly doubled his birth weight at 9 weeks! That puts him in the 75th percentile for weight. I can free myself of any worry (that I really did not have) that he needs anything more than my milk. Our episodic periods of bonding that already are becoming more spaced out... I have an iPhone app that tells me how long he eats, on which side he last ate, how long he has eaten thus far today, averages for the week and month of how many hours we have spent nursing. Initially I was spending 4+hrs feeding him, we are now down to 2.5hr/day. I know this will be the last time I experience the miracle of infancy and so I both delight and lament in the decrease of hours. This period is so fleeting and I try to remind myself on occasion of that fact.
Oh, and he is only 22 inches long. 10th percentile! Hence, the 'short fat fry'. It seems he may have gotten Grandpa Alky's genes, because all the other males in his lineage are at least 6 feet tall. This reminds me of a story from when Jon and I were dating. He still lived in Wisconsin and I was living LA. We had only met at Aubrey and Chris' wedding so I didn't know him very well. I was convinced that he was less than 6ft tall, like maybe 5'10" in my recollection of him. He kept telling me he was 6ft. One day I got a call from his phone and it was a nurse in Wisconsin, he had her call me from his yearly checkup to tell me that he was indeed 6 ft tall. It made me laugh and smile and I did finally believe that he was 6ft tall. We will love Landon nonetheless no matter how tall he is. Surely karma will not punish him for all the times I said I would never date a short guy...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shushi

When I was pregnant with Avery, Jon started asking when she would be able to eat sushi. I said maybe when she was a teenager, but Jon didn't like that answer and now likes to ask all sushi restaurant workers when she can start having sushi. Their answers vary. I don't do raw fish sushi, I do vegetable sushi, like cucumber or avocado or last resort a california roll with (fake) crab. Jon loves sushi, claiming the raw fish is sweet or some silliness like that. So tonight for the first time successfully Avery ate and enjoyed my kind of sushi, which she calls shushi which makes it all the more fun. She loves the ginger but not the soy sauce. Jon is so happy that now we can all eat sushi together

Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Buddies

After a plethora of book club girls being born (5 to be exact), the tides changed starting with William 3 years ago. Since then, all book club babies have been boys. Here are the 3 youngest book club boys; Quinn, Ryan and Landon. Thanks Ryan for smiling :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Visitors

We were so delighted to have my sister, aka Auntie Kate and her youngest, Mazie, come to visit us. I was in need of some sister time and so grateful that Auntie Bee, Lucia and Elliott allowed them to come across the country to spend a week with us. Although my sister left 2 of her triplets behind, she still sort of had twins because she ended up helping me so much with Avery while I cared for Landon. I am so appreciative of this time we had together. I had a list of things I wanted her to help me with and we accomplished a lot, we made a big pot of homemade pasta sauce, she gave us a crash course in using our food dehydrator. I never knew a grown man could consume gallons of dried tomatoes in one sitting. We made delicious raw corn chips in the dehydrator and some really disgusting yogurt taffy. We started getting the baby announcements ready to be sent. And I know we did lots of other things I can't remember. What I do know is I was so devastated when they left. Maybe because now that we bought a house in LA it is pretty evident that we will not be living near each other anytime soon and our kids will not be growing up together. So the time we do have together is all the more precious. Mazie took some pictures with my phone. Here is a small collection of those. Jon took some great pictures of the cousins which I will post sometime...



Mazie love, ready to head to the airport
Sweet loves

Thanks for visiting! We love y'all and you are welcome anytime!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Activities

Moving to a new town and taking Avery out of school at the same time was a bit worrisome for me. I didn't want her to be bored or missing kids her age too much. The timing wasn't ideal with both these things coinciding but timing usually isn't perfect in life and yet things tend to work out. I sought out some activities through the local recreation program to start at the end of January about 3 weeks after we moved. They just happened to coincide with the week that Landon arrived. Thankfully GG was here to take Avery to her first ballet class. Avery loves her new ballet teacher, Miss Chrissy. They have lots of fun and learn a little bit of ballet/tap too. I took a bunch of pictures of the private lesson Avery got with Miss Kelsey when all the other girls didn't show up. Usually the class has about 6 girls in it.
Shuffle Step
Jumping over stuffed animals is super fun.
Miss Kelsey rewards good dancing and memory of things learned during class by letting the girls hula hoop. Miss Kelsey is a great hula hooper and Avery really enjoyed it too.

GG and Avery missed the first art class because I left faulty directions for them as I tried to ready myself to get to the hospital to deliver the baby, oops, my bad :) Avery really enjoyed art class. The teachers were sweet and she got to do some really cool projects.
Here is a mobile they made. Each week had a special project as well as free play with playdough and painting and coloring.
The kids loved these different sized tree trunk pieces.
This wasn't from art class but illustrates Avery's beginning attempts at drawing a person.
For the last art class Avery was joined by her beloved cousin, Mazie who came to visit us. They had a great time painting together and making pompom art.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

funny girl

I don't write down all the funny things Avery says. I should because she constantly makes me laugh, but I don't. My current favorites include: "I'm am" which I realize she has been saying for a long time now and I sort of wonder if she might say it forever; "much more better", so cute; and "packpack" instead of back pack. She calls tofu "toe food" and she asks funny questions like "do worms have eyes and do bumblebees have jaws?". I had to look both those answers up on Google, no worms don't have eyes and yes bumblebees have mandibles, of course they do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two Sleepyheads

Now what do I do, two sleeping kids in the car? The stars have aligned. Hope this isn't the last time they do. I pulled into the garage, realized they were both asleep, backed out, went for a drive in search of a drive thru Starbucks to get a chai tea latte. I did not find one, drove back home, took this picture and then woke Avery up.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good Ol' Swing

This trusty old swing has been through Avery, our friends Calvin and Sylvie, but I don't think it has seen any action like that with Landon. We have had to change the batteries multiple times already. He loves to smile at himself in the mirror above, do a little paci sucking and then pass out for hours on end. He really doesn't nap in his crib and definitely prefers the swing during the day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Good Morning

Can you see he is smiling at her? Love them!!

We went for a walk this morning on the strand and despite a forecast of rain we walked about a mile from our car without an umbrella or rain gear. But we did manage to find a nice little place to stop for breakfast while it poured outside. The weather cleared briefly but then just as we were going to try to walk back to the car it started pouring again so we sent daddy on a mile long run with a very full post-breakfast belly to retrieve the car. It was a great day.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby doll

Avery thought it was really fun and funny to have a sleepy Landon try on her headband. Yes that is Mommy's hand holding it properly in place.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A new friend


During this maternity leave Avery is taking a hiatus from preschool. It is just too far to take her for the day, at least 1 hr both ways. Plus we are in a new city so we don't have any local 3.5 year olds for her to spend time with yet. I have tried to get our not-so-local friends to come visit us some which has been so great but she definitely misses seeing her school friends 2 days a week. Grancy got Avery a Jessie doll from Toy Story. She is really cute and says about 15 different sayings. Avery has enjoyed playing with her and I love this picture.

Baldy


Much like his big sister, Landon's hair has started falling out. With any luck he will have some hair grown back by the time he is 2. Also like Avery his hair has a red hue in pictures, not so much in person. This picture makes me laugh and smile. Not sure when he will ever have eyebrows.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joy/iPhone

Finally, after having my little Samsung flip phone for who knows how long, the iPhone came to Verizon and I was first in line, pretty much literally, there at the Apple store with my pre-purchased receipt and my 2-1/2 wk old baby, begging for my first iPhone. I love it. I love how I can take pictures all the time because my phone is always close-by, unlike my camera. So today I captured a sweet little hand clutching my shirt while he was sleeping. That is my true joy, moreso than the iPhone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello, Kitty


sweet cuddles


Hello, kitty.
I love this picture.