Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Great Communicator

It can be said by Avi's constituency that her eloquence is unsurpassed in the baby world. And though there may be a bit of bias in that belief, it is hard to deny that when Avi talks, it is awfully cute. It doesn't matter that most of what's uttered are lyrical strings of garbley sounds and repetitions; her voice is the sound of music. In fact, we're so enamored when she speaks that we often whip out our iphones and try to record her whenever she delves into one of her engaging monologues, but 99.9% of the time, she evades us and begins shrieking to hold the phone. These kinds of shrieks are not musical and they're not cute. They're often piercing, painful, frustrating, and nearly enough to drive you to criminal behavior.

Fortunately, her good communication far outweighs the bad. Like when one of us has been away from her for a while and when we're reunited, she immediately has something extremely important to say or point out. You can see the intensity in her eyes as she struggles to articulate and finally resigns to pointing to some object in the room and exclaiming, "Daa!" But that's okay with us; Avi's making progress and she's got our vote anytime.

At the Park with Avi.

There's a really cool park near our house, Chumash Park. Avi loves it there!

Content with her conquering of the slide.

Watching other kids and thinking...

Avi must be practicing posing for magazines, because lately she's been crossing her legs at the ankles whenever she stands against a wall. It's adorable and very photogenic!

This is a cool slide, it has bars that roll. Very fun!

But the swing is best - especially when Daddy does "underdog"!

Oso Flaco on a very cold day

We live less than 10 miles from the awesome boardwalk trial over Oso Flaco Lake to the dunes in Guadalupe. Unfortunately, we don't go there often enough, and when we do - it always seems to be C-O-L-D!

The coolest boardwalk - right over a lake!

I LOVE this picture of Avi chasing the birds! This is one of her new favorite hobbies, one that she picked up while in Hawaii.

This picture breaks my heart! Look at how small she is, but keeping right up with mama!

Four Generations (or, Avi, her mother, her mother's mother, and her mother's mother's mother))

My Grammy (know to Avi as "Gigi" - short for GreatGrandma) is turning 90 in March. She is truly an amazing woman. I hope to be more like her everyday - she is tolerant, kind, patient, generous, full of laughter, and gives great hugs and kisses! So, since Avi was born, I wanted to have a portrait of us women - I'm so proud of our female four generations!
Thanks to my Dad Paul for taking these treasured photographs.

Avi wasn't too happy at the end of the 3 minute shoot - she was very cold and shivering. She did great, though!

A Sitti Traditon: Sink Fun!

When I first met Michael, and then his mother, I'd see Julia washing Matthew Anthony in this sink (he was then 1 or 2 years old). Now, it is Avi's turn in the sink tub. I just don't know who loved it more: Julia or Avi!

We call this "poursie poursie".

One happy grandmother.

One happy toddler.

Avi loves baths so much, but she HATES it when they end... She just wants to keep playing in the water all day long! Poor baby.

Meaganita and Avi-ita

Everyone wants a professional photo shoot with Avi, but these days, Avi has little patience for the camera. (Who could blame her? She's lived the life of a star with 2 in-house paparrazis her whole life!) So, when Cousin Meagan asked for a photo shoot, Avi obliged, but only for a few minutes. Here's what Maren captured...

All I wanna do is RUN!

Avi's getting more and more comfortable on her two feet. And all she wants to do is run - and it is so much fun (for her)! (Her parents chasing her around all day find themselves getting increasingly tired.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This picture deserves a post all of it's own because this is what heaven is, to me, as a mother. I've waited for the moment when I can carry my sleeping baby from the car into her bed at home without her even remembering a thing - just comfortably lost in her baby dreams and her mama's arms.

This is it... heaven on earth for mama Maren.

Things I say at least 34 times a day.

Having a mobile, independent, curious child makes for a sore throat. Here are common, very common, too common phrases I say at least 30 to 40 times a day.

Bring your food back into the kitchen. We eat in the kitchen. Put your bowl back on the table. Wait, don't pour your food on the floor - food stays inside the bowl. Come back into the kitchen.

Sit down in the tub. You might fall if you stand up. Sit down. Sit down.

Don't touch the toilet. It is dirty. Don't touch. Dirty. Don't touch.

And so on... I feel like a broken record. But I read somewhere you have to say things about 500 times for them to sink in to the toddler brain. Here's to many more repetitive days!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Portraits of an 18-month old

Christmas trees ablaze!

Some neighbors and friends got together in Oceano on the beach to burn our dry, dead Christmas trees. This was the first time we've done this and it was a lot of fun!

Avi had fun running around on the wide, open beach!

The needles went up in a furious blaze!

Polar Dip, 2011

Tierra Nuevan tradition: jump into the 50 degree water on the morning of January 1st and then go back home and share a brunch together. It was a GREAT way to start the year!

Michael on the far left catching up the rear.

Avi didn't do the dip this year - she was warm bundled up in her clothes!


This Christmas Tree decorating takes lots of concentration! Actually, for every one ornament Avi put on the tree, she took off five!

We had a tiny tree this year, but to Avi it must of looked huge!

Avi's Christmas 2010 attire. Thanks to Sitti for the Panda Bear sweater and matching velour skirt and Gigi Louise for the ruby red shoes!

The Brajkovich side of Michael's family.

Playing with second cousin's Meagan and Emily.

Andy & Emily visiting us from Berlin. Emily is 3 month pregnant!

Bath in Costco plastic tub!

At China Peak snow summit. Avi's suited up appropriately for the cold weather.

She entertained all the dinners at the meal hut with her silly ways!

The babe can snowboard!