Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beach Time!

Today was a near perfect day...sunny and 75 in February. You can't beat that, although, it hasn't been like this all winter. Eric was working today so we needed a fun Saturday activity. I heard that Kite Fest was happening down by the pier and knew Ava would love seeing all the kites. We even stopped by Target and picked up her own little kite to bring with us. Well, when we got there we realized that there really wasn't much wind and I also realized that I don't really know how to fly a kite. So, we had Jamba Juice while we watched the pros do their thing and then headed down to the water. Ava was in love. She loves the beach. She loves the water. It didn't matter that the water temperature was 56 degrees today or that she wasn't wearing a bathing suit...she got wet up to her head. We ended up being there for 2 hours while she jumped over waves and ran and danced around in the water and sand. Enjoy some pictures of Ava in her element.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Farm Animals

For Ava's Tot and Me class we took a field trip to Goldenview Elementary school that has a little farm on it. Since Ava needed to make up a class that we had missed we decided that we'd go to twice to the farm. The kids are encouraged to bring food to feed the animals and it was fun to have our own little supply. Ava was really into it. A lot of the animals are just roaming free including goats, rabbits, ducks and chickens. I think she liked the bunnies the best and chased them all around trying to feed them. The goats were a little wild and were standing on the picnic tables and hitting each other with their horns. It was pretty muddy in there and Ava of course got filthy along with the the rest of the kids but it was a lot of fun and a great "hands on" experience.

On Friday when we went back we invited the Lucas family to come along.
I love this picture of Chase, Ava and Anna sitting in a tree.

And, just a cute little pic of Ava's smiling face.
I am surprised to see her smiling since her little finger got bit by a goat and a duck this time.

Just a picture

I think this picture makes Ava look like a teenager in some ways.
I hope when she is 15, she doesn't look this disturbed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This past Saturday we went to our dear friend, Casey's, memorial service. It was so wonderful to see so many friends come and support Tyler and Mike. They, along with Cindy and Karen, did such a great job speaking and recalling fun memories of Casey. She will be missed.

After the memorial there was a little gathering at the Suman's house for close friends and family. The kids had fun running around together and playing while the big kids got to catch up and play Rock Band.

Aiden, Brogan, and Ava.
Ava is eating a tortilla chip and saying cheese at the same time,
which turned into a scary face.

Here is the group of Eric's high school friends who were able it.
Fernando, Eric, Michael, Jason, Tyler

Later that night Ava, while dancing, decided to be brave jump off off the coffee table onto the ground. She's always had to jump to someone so this was a big step for our little chicken girl. She did this over and over again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Farewell, Late Night with Conan O’Brien

This is Eric. I apologize up front - this is going to be kind of long and cheesy at times.

Last Friday night, February 20, 2009, was Conan O’Brien’s last show as the host of Late Night on NBC. He is taking over for Jay Leno on the Tonight Show beginning June 1, 2009. This was announced about 4 years ago and has been the cause of so much anxiety in my life since. Conan has built his show on unconventional, quirky, literate humor since 1993. Although Conan promised he will not grow up when he does The Tonight Show, this is still the end of an era.

His last show was quaint and personal. His only guests were Andy Richter and The White Stripes with a cameo from Will Farrell. He and Andy talked a little about the past, but mostly just showed some highlights from the past 16 years. The White Stripes have been long-time friends of Conan’s before they were even indie rock stars, not to mention mainstream rock stars. They’ve been on the show numerous times. They played a stripped-down version of “We’re Going to be Friends”. I personally prefer Meg on drums instead of the guitar she played. Oh well. Apparently Conan and some of his writers went bowling one night when they were in Detroit in the 90s. They met Jack and Meg there and ended up hanging out with them that whole night. They were the fitting ending musical guest.

At the end of the show, Conan gave thanks to the people who have made the show possible. It wasn’t a cliché speech. He genuinely gave thanks to various people like Max Weinberg and his band, Jeff Ross, Lorne Michaels, David Letterman, his writers, his parents, his family, and many others. He got teary-eyed when talking about how much he admires these individuals and how much he has thoroughly enjoyed his job.

I started watching his show in 1994 about when I started high school. Tivo and DVRs hadn’t been invented yet, so I only got to see it on the occasional Friday night when I would stay up until 12:37 and then a little more during the summers. I always loved how different and consistently funny it was. This might get kind of joey, but Late Night with Conan O’Brien has been more than a show to me. It’s been utterly consistent for 15 years of my life and has always provided me the necessary diversion and even bits of news I needed. It’s been more like a good friend. I’ve even gotten emotional during his final week as I was discussing it with Laura or Bryan. OK, that’s all for the joey part. Actually, this whole post is pretty over-the-top, but that’s how I feel, so here’s some more.

People always ask others, “If you could meet one person, who would it be?” The only answer I have ever had to that question is Conan O’Brien. He’s a genius in comedy but is also very literate and genuine. You can tell that the guests on his show really enjoying talking to him; it’s not like other shows where they are doing the talk show circuit as part of their job. Anyways, I think he’s great.

I just wanted to list some of my favorite moments or recurring bits on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I know I will think of a million others after I post this, but these are the ones that came to my head right now:

  • Bulletproof Legs
  • The Walker Texas Ranger lever
  • FedEx Pope
  • Conan and Andy’s staring contests
  • Triumph the Insult Comic Dog going to the line up of the then new Star Wars movie
  • Any time Conan “interviewed” Arnold Schwarzenegger via satellite
  • The writer sitting in the crowd saying, “That’s fantastic!” about everything except Conan’s show itself.
  • Actual Items
  • In the Year 2000
  • An interview with Gwyneth Paltrow a few years ago where he mimicked her husband, Chris Martin, as an English chimney sweeper
  • Andy getting shot in the chest by the writer doing clay pigeon shooting in the studio
  • Conan telling Broken Social Scene that they need more guitarists
  • Any time Conan went to Joe’s to escape all his troubles
  • The fact that Conan showcased obscure, but legitimate, indie bands that no other talk show would have on
  • Conan, Max, and Joel's photo journals of their holiday activities together
  • Any time he imitates Jeff Ross, the show’s producer
  • Any time Conan interviewed Martha Stewart
  • Artie Kendall appearances

So, I know Conan will do great on The Tonight Show, it will just be different than Late Night. I’m excited to see what he does with the show. Thank you Conan for everything!!

OK, that’s the end of my over-the-top joey post.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Noah's Ark

Dana invited Ava and I up to the Skirball Cultural Center in L.A. to go to the Noah's Ark exhibit. Every Thursday it's free to go if you reserve passes online beforehand. We spent about two hours there and with the drive up and back it was a full afternoon. I definitely want to go again sometime. Here we are waiting to go in.

It was so much fun and I was really impressed with the Ark and all of the activities they have for kids in there. There are different rooms and every thing is hands on and you can climb, build and play. It really would be fun for all ages of kids. Ava was excited to try to "do" everything. It was cute following her around and watching her learn how things worked.

Ava and Lucy had fun playing together and doing their own things.
Owen was so cute waddling around trying to play and climb.

Ava overcame some fears and climbed on rope bridges even Owen wanted to go up on the second level. I ended up venturing through the rest of the tunnels with them which isn't really something I'd want to do again since it's definitely designed for short, little people. At the top, I tried to get Lucy and Ava to pose in a picture but I just got silly faces. They are such cute little girls!

Thanks for planning a fun afternoon, Dana!

Silly Pictures

This is a random post but yesterday Ava got a little mirage scope in a party bag for one of her little classmate's birthdays. It is like a prism/kaleidoscope eyeglass. Of course, Eric had the most fun playing with it and taking pictures through it. So here are a couple shots looking through it, I thought it was pretty cute seeing multiple Avas in there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Disney Characters

Ava is finally starting to learn about the Disney characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV. So, since we were cooped up yesterday, I decided to take Ava to Disneyland for a couple of hours today. I was inspired by Dana to take Ava to the Playhouse Disney live stage show and she seemed to really enjoyed it.

After the show we were about to head down Main Street when a few of the characters made an appearance. Ava got to visit with Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie. I was shocked that she even went up to them since she is generally pretty shy but she hugged them and posed for a picture. I was a proud mom! So, since it was her first time, I will go overboard and post the hug picture and the posed picture with each character.

It was a fun couple of hours at Disneyland
and we got to enjoy the little bit of sun in between rain storms.
(I had to post this last picture because that eye thing Ava is doing is classic Ava face)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

I can't believe it's already Monday again and I have to say that it was kind of depressing waking up to another cloudy, chilly, rainy day. Our weekend was too short since Eric had to work on Saturday and today (it's tax season) regardless of holidays. I am ready for more spring like weather and although, I know I shouldn't be allowed to complain since this is "California winter", I still will. I should really take a lesson from Ava though and just embrace the rain and have fun stomping in puddles and playing. She loves to play in the rain but I don't, so while she is taking a nap later I won't be frolicking in the rain...I'll be cozy on the couch watching a movie and thinking about all those warm days ahead.


Meredith was in town from BYU-I the past few days since they had a nice long weekend off from school. It's been so fun hanging out with her, going shopping, out to eat, playing Rockband, staying up late talking, etc. Sad that she heads back to Idaho today but April is just around the corner, right?

I have to mention again that February is a crazy birthday month! Mostly on the Novak side of the family but we also go to celebrate two birthdays on Sunday night here in California. Meredith turned 19 and Lucy will be 3 later this week. We had a Valentine's themed party including a game of Bingo that Camille made. And the night is never complete without a little dance party.