Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ava with hair?

Ever wonder what Ava would look like with hair? Well here it is...

Oh, and a tie too. Random.

Here is our little bald beauty.

Pictures of Ava

I know, I know. More pictures of Ava? We have so many already! But these were taken yesterday and I couldn't resist adding them in. We had fun going to the beach again with the Willards, Meredith and Camille and Jeremy not to mention Wahoo's and Thrifty ice cream. Thanks for coming to HB.

This first picture is my favorite picture (maybe ever) of Ava. How sweet is she?

And this one is cute too...

Ava stands...with a little leaning help and she is so surprised about it.

Ava and Lucy

Ava and Jeremy

Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Day of Summer

Well today is the first day of summer and the last day of school for a lot of districts including Meredith's. She is officially a senior. Woo Hoo! We met up at Chili's tonight with two of our good friends we made in Provo, Dave and Hoke. It was a lot of fun catching up with them. Sorry no pics, forgot to get out the camera!

We decided to celebrate summer by going to the Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club. It's a pretty fun place that has sand but is a pool with no waves which turns out to be perfect for little kids. Rachael and I went up with our kids and met up with Dana and Lucy, Karen, and Camille and Jeremy. Cindy and Meredith even stopped by to say hi.

All of the kids had so much fun playing in the sand and water. Ava even tasted her first fistful of sand. It was a hot one there too, around 90 degrees. The moms were cooking out on the sand, but it was a great way to ring in the new season.

Take a look at the pics and a little lame video of Ava splashing. I am sad that I didn't get pictures of Lucy or Savanna, they both looked adorable in their little bathing suits. Next week we'll have to get a photo of the little girls together. In the meantime check out the Willards' and Bates' blogs. I think next week we'll head up again but this time Rachael and I will bring our husbands.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

10 Years Earlier

Ten years ago...June 19, 1997, I graduated from Shelton High School. I can't believe it has been so long, it seems like centuries ago. Life has changed incredibly. I'd like to think that I have changed as well, for the better, of course.

Sometimes I really do miss Connecticut. It was home. I don't miss high school but sometimes miss the friendships that I made there that have dwindled due to distance. I have a secret hope of attending my 10 year class reunion although I am unsure if that w
ill actually happen.

Anyways, here are a couple pictures from my 1997 yearbook for you all to snicker at, sorry for the bad quality but they are photographs of pictures in the yearbook.

My senior picture:

The three amigos (Me, Sarah, and Michelle):

At a winter formal dance and working for RT Photo:

It was also ten years ago this June that I moved to Utah to
start attending BYU. Later that fall I met Kam and through her met Eric and that's the beginning of the rest of my life. I am so happy that I made that decision to go to BYU even though it was very far away and super scary.

Here is a picture of Kam, Eric, and me back in the day - again, terrible quality sorry.

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Bonfire

Wow. We have a lot of firsts. Well, tonight was my (and Ava's and Carter's and Savanna's and Lucy's) first beach bonfire. Yes, I know that I have been coming to California for 10 years now and I live here but it just hasn't worked out until tonight. Back east I had never even heard of having a fire on the beach - it must be illegal in Connecticut or something.

Thanks to the Bates for
organizing. We had hot dogs, s'mores, and other yummy food. The weather was beautiful crystal clear skies and minimal wind. We went to Corona Del Mar and I loved how many people were out doing the same thing. The beach was pretty packed by nightfall. There were such beautiful homes surrounding us too. There were sail boats and seals in the water. A perfect sunset with palm tree silhouettes. And of course, great company.

Carter and Lucy played in the sand...eating more sand than food I think. Savanna and Ava kept close to mom and dad. It's fun to know that next summer they both will be up and playing too and Ava won't just be eating her socks on a blanket. As it got dark another bonfire group started playing guitar and singing and we were reminded that next time Eric should bring his guitar. Hopefully we'll get to have another one really soon.

I love Ava's straight mouth in this shot:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

First Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

This is Eric's first Father's Day. Eric loves being a dad. He always sneaks into Ava's room before he leaves for work in the morning to see her sleeping and reports b
ack the same thing, "She's so cute". They play a little game - first Eric makes a high pitched squeal then Ava mimics back. He likes to rub noses with her. He's the softy when it comes to food. No forcing sweet potatoes down her throat when she complains. He likes to play with her - tickling or giving her a little toss in the air, getting down on the ground with her, and singing songs. He's always excited to teach her life lessons whether it's to appreciate the good music he turned on for her, or giving her tummy time, or talking to her about investing money, or trying to keep her awake when we go to the beach just so she can learn to appreciate how beautiful the world is, etc. He's a great dad. I love that he's always willing to change her diaper even though the "fresh baked bread" smell is diminishing and put on her pajamas even though it's so hard to get her hands through the tiny holes and her kicking feet into the pants. Thanks for being so supportive and loving us and providing for us and being such a good new dad to Ava.

We are also so grateful to our own fathers, Gary and Bill. What wonderful dads they have been for us and still are of course. We appreciate all the support, love, and protection you have provided to us over the years. We love you!

We had Father's Day dinner up at the Sumans house.. It was so fun hanging out as usual. The food was great (thanks Cindy) and the company was even better. All of the dads got to play with stomp rockets and use the grill. I think it was a pretty great dad day. Here's a picture of Ava eating. I love the shape of her eyes.

Here is a video of Ava laughing tonight:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beach Days

Since Flex Fridays set in (Eric works 40 hours Monday through Thursday to take off Friday) I really feel like summer has begun. We have been having plenty of beach days to celebrate. We've been here in Huntington but then today we went to Oceanside to meet our friends the Vongsawad's and Hope's. It was so much fun catching up with them. Unfortunately, I didn't whip out the camera and I have no pics of the reunion. I guess that means it will have to happen again soon. We had fun exploring a new beach and Oceanside has some charming qualities, but I still love our beach best. It took us two hours to get there and we kind of drove in circles looking for them but luckily we found them eventually. Ava mostly slept on her blanket under the umbrella while Jason and Eric chatted about the accounting world and investing.

Here's a picture of Ava at the beach, not today but a different beach day:

Yesterday Camille, Meredith, Rachael, Jeremy and I went to the Paul Frank warehouse sale and got to score some good deals there. It took us over an hour to get in the door. The line was way long but it was fun being apart of the chaos inside. We met up with the husbands and kids and went to Chipotle for lunch and then headed to the beach. Later that evening Eric, Ava and I went to the movies and saw Disturbia.

Back to the beach...the water has been really pretty and the sun has been out. Hopefully May Gray is over and June Gloom won't ever start. Also, red tide has finally vanished. Oh, Eric got fried! Especially his feet. So sad. While at the beach we saw Bethany Hamilton surfing. Bethany was the 13 year old that while surfing in Hawaii got her arm bitten off by a tiger shark back in 2003. Crazy. She was right in front of us surfing really well. We were especially impressed by her one arm paddling skills. Here's a pic, although not a great one...she's the one riding the wave..

Jeremy Graduates

We went to Jeremy's Sunshine Preschool Graduation this past Thursday. It was so cute to see these little kids in their caps and gowns. It was fun to see this event since we always hear about Meredith and Mark's graduation from the same school. I don't think much has changed since they went. The kids sang 7 song and Jeremy was the leader for the brushing your teeth song. It was super cute. Good cake too.

This is us with the happy graduate.

Jeremy and his two best friends.

I just thought this picture was cute of Ava in the purple twilight.

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Toy

Ava inherited a new toy from her cousin Lucy. Check her out. This thing is deluxe, huh?

Thanks Willards for letting us borrow!

Eric won a bet by wearing Jeremy's underwear on his head. Too bad we later found out that they were wet. Ew!

Eric really earned his dollar. Thanks again Willards!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

6 Months

Ava is 6 months old today. I can hardly believe that it has been half of a year already. Everyone is right about time going by fast and that they grow up quickly. Ava is such a sweetheart and a delight to have around.

She is such a pro at sitting up now. She sits so straight and holds her head up so high. She loves to play sitting up too.

Still no hair though. It's kind of sad but still kind of cute. I do hope it starts growing in soon.

Ava went to the doctor's today.

Something new that has been introduced is water in a cup. She gets the general idea but mostly likes to just gnaw on the cup rather then sip out the water. She will learn with time. She does a decent job at holding it herself if she is laying down.

She weighs 16 lbs and is 27 inches long. She is getting so big. She is still tall falling in the 90th percentile.

Her diet has changed again too. She will nurse one less time a day and eat more solids. I wonder if I will "miss" nursing her (really I don't think I will) but it is nice to be forced to sit down and have a little quiet time with her. She likes to play with my face and hair while she is eating and it's so cute. I don't have to worry too much though, she still isn't weaned yet.

She received three shots and that was kind of sad.

Dr Chang also mentioned that she will start to have stranger anxiety a little more over the next couple of months. We saw that this past week in Utah a couple of times. She would stare deeply into their eyes and then start - hey, I don't know you. I hope she grows out of that quickly.

The next visit isn't until August, 8 months. She will be crawling by then.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Okay, so as much as we love California there is still a longing for our old life back in Utah. We love the mountains, the summer nights, the BBQ, the friends/family, the housing prices, etc. So we were excited when our friends Andy and Naomi decided to get married in the Salt Lake City Temple. A great excuse to go visit. We also decide to fly this time around. What a difference. We arrived in less than two hours instead of the dreaded 9 hour drive in the summer heat. Road trips are so fun but we've done the drive many, many times in our life together and this was a well deserved treat for us. Also, this marks Ava's first flight! She received wings and a certificate from Southwest airlines. So cute. She was amazing on the flights and mostly slept. She is a great little traveler.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon. Bill picked us up and we went to lunch at Crown Burger with the family. They were nice enough to let us borrow Bill's VW Golf. He lives in The Gateway and works at The Gateway so I don't think we were inconveniencing them too much and it was seriously so great to have our own car. Eric wishes he owned a Golf now. Besides complaining about driving stick shift all weekend he really enjoyed driving it. Thanks SO much! Scott and Kimmy loved playing with Ava. Scottie wanted to hold her and Kimmy kept giving her toys.

Anyways, we ended up just hanging out in Salt Lake. We went to Temple Square and found a little spot in the Visitor's Center where Ava could stretch out and play for a while. It was nice to walk around and see the sites again. That evening we went to the pre-wedding dinner at Biaggi's. It was a beautiful room, the food was great, and it was fun to meet Andy and Naomi's family and see their slide show and they even played a Bob Dylan song together. Andy played guitar, harmonica and sang while Naomi accompanied him on violin. It was really good.

Mark and Sara were so great to let us crash at their place. And crash is really what it was. Let's just say that there is a lot of stuff to bring while traveling with a baby. Thanks guys for putting up with us and our stuff all weekend. So back to Provo it was. Ava got to take her first bath in the sink instead of in her infant bath tub. This is when and how she discovered her love for splashing.

On Thursday we headed back to Salt Lake. We made a pit stop along the way at (our favorite) Cafe Rio. Yum! I seriously forget how much I love it. But the line was still long and the Utah people bothered me. The trip was redeemed with the first bite of steak tacos and sip of caffeine free Diet Coke on tap. There was a lady there doing market research for future Rio locations so we put our plug in for Orange County, preferably Huntington Beach. It's only a ma
tter of time, right? We then dropped off Ava with Kayla for babysitting (thanks a million) while Eric and I went to the Salt Lake Temple for the sealing. I love being in the temple for sealings. I love remembering my own wedding day and hearing all the special blessings that we received during our own ceremony. It just reminds me of how much I love Eric and how grateful I am for eternal marriage.

Back to Provo for dinner with the Millers and Sara at Nicoitalia (a pizza place opened by a Boston native). Then off to the wedding reception for the newly married Martins. It was in the Provo Library ballroom. So pretty. Cute decorations. Beautiful wedding gown. Happy couple. It was fun to see some of our friends there too. The bummer is that we thought the party was happening all night long but while lingering at dinner we received a call from Tyson telling us that the reception ended in 15 minutes and the groom was wondering if we were coming. But we made it in time to see them off and in time to take home some leftovers for the Sunday BBQ. The picture of Gordon and Ava below is so rad even though it is blurry. I love the face she is making and you know Gordon was probably making so crazy pig noises at her. That evening Eric and Mark had a brilliant idea of going to see TMNT (for those of you who don't know, that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Movies 8 (the dollar theater). Awe man, that was a crappy movie. Ava was super sad when she was woken up from her peaceful movie slumber to get changed and into bed not to mention she had a little diaper rash. She was crying hard. Poor little girl getting dragged around.

On Friday we spent the day in Provo. Eric went jogging. We ate lunch at Hickory Kist with Gerrit and Chloe. Went with them to the Springville Art Museum and saw Justin's painting there. Went to campus and walked around remembering the good ole BYU days. There are so many changes to the buildings. Got Hogi Yogi ice cream sandwiches. Then met everyone at Cafe Rio for dinner. Arson Car had an impromptu band practice at Andy's house. Since he was on his honeymoon he told us we could all go over there (since that's where the instruments are) and listen to them play. The bummer part was that he failed to mention this to his new in-laws who own the house and they showed up after practice wondering who we were and why we were in their house. We felt kind of bad but Andy gave us permission. We were out of there shortly after. It's actually too bad the parents didn't show up 10 minutes earlier because they missed the cop that came asking them to stop playing music. Good ole Provo. Can't have any fun without involving the authorities. That evening Eric had another great idea for a movie...Kickin' It Old Skool for a midnight showing and took Gerrit and Justin with him. The consensus...worst movie ever. They didn't get back until 2:30am!

On Saturday it was back up to Salt Lake. We went to Scottie's baseball game. The Lookouts won! Bill is the assistant coach and got to pitch to the team. The pic below is Bill pitching to Scottie (sorry about the fence). The little boys were so cute sliding into the bases. Scottie was a good player on third base and made some really good hits, he even stole home! I was so proud. We then went to lunch at Barbacoa. It's so fun to hang out with them. We've seen them so much more since they moved to Utah. I love it! That afternoon we returned to Provo to go to the Veteran's Memorial Pool with Mark and Sara. It's a fun place with water slides and a great kiddie pool. This was Ava's first swimming pool experience. Eric even dunked her under water. She loved it. She enjoyed splashing around. The video below is really short but shows off how good of a splasher Ava has become. I also really like how washed out the footage is from so much light coming in, kind of looks vintage. We then hit up another local favorite for dinner, Burger Supreme. (it's all about the food!)

On Sunday morning Eric decided to hike the Y. He had a fast trip up enjoyed the view of the valley and on his way down he encountered a snake. Ew! We went to Sacrament meeting with Mark and Sara and then off to the Miller's house for BBQ with friends and family. An old summer standard. Miss those BBQ's and the great company. Super fun
to see everyone and to hang out late into the evening. Tyson was really sick and the pic below kind of defines how he was all weekend. (You love that I included that, huh?) Eric got in a little hacky sack and Tetris too.

Today, Monday, we flew back to California. Not without one last stop at Cafe Rio with Bill and Kayla and kids. Yum! We were rushing around in the morning and meanwhile Ava totally threw up in her car seat. Yuck! She has never really thrown up before, spit up yes, throw up no. It was kind of sad. Anyways, she is alright. I think maybe the milk she had with her cereal went bad.

The trip was so much fun. Thank you thank you thank you again to the Novaks, the Millers and the Sumans for helping us out so much with a place to stay, car to drive, babysitting, BBQing, etc. It was so much fun to see everyone and sorry to those that we didn't get to see. We still love you! Tyson, hope you feel better. Keep us updated on your recovery. We were grateful to be home. Back to our cozy apartment and cooler weather.