Monday, August 31, 2009

the Brajkovich family visit!

Michael's family (Nana, Pap-Pap, Aunt Julie and Uncle David, and cousins Meagan and Emily) came over in early August for a visit. His cousin Meagan got some GREAT pictures. Below are some of her (and our) favorites she shared with us.

Avi smiling at Nana (Great-Nana to Avi).

Nana had a great story about doves. A couple of weeks before Avi was born, she had several doves nest near her house. She's never had doves nest at a house she's lived in. Well, then Avi was born and we named her "Aveah Dove" and Nana said she has her doves of her own now to remind her of Avi Dove! The dove near her house had babies shortly after Avi was born!

Our Dove.

Daddy is trying to dress Avi.
Great picture, Meagan! This is one of my all-time favorites!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Little Red Girl

People comment on Aveah's nice coloring.  She does have a little "tan" right now.  But when she first came out - and for the first two weeks or so - she was a red thing!  Look at this picture!  Notice my mom's normal flesh tone finger in the lower left corner of the image to compare to Avi's redness!

Official Business

Isn't this cute? Aveah's first letter delivered via the mail stated "official business"! How official can a newborn be?


Breast-feeding is one of those things I thought I would be totally grossed out by, but it hasn't been "weird" at all. It's amazing how motherhood changes you so quickly! One thing I've had to learn to master is feeding Avi in public - that is, if I ever want to get out of the house. Can you tell there's a happy feeding babe under there, while I decide which sandwich to order from the menu?

4 Generations

Great-grammy Louise (88), Granmmy Peggy (62), Mommy Maren (29), Aveah (1/12).

Papa Michael, Great-Grandma Carmen, Grandma Julia, Aveah.


You know you're totally smitten when you take picture (after picture) of someone yawning and think it's the cutest thing in the world.  Here's a few we captured:


Avi's a super-hero (at least in our word).  Want proof?  Well, she has her own super-power-pose.  Spiderman holds his index finger and pinkie finger to make webs, Superman holds out one fisted arm to fly, Aveah cocks one arm and straightens the other to do her magic.  We call this the "sha-zam" pose.  You can she her holding this pose for minutes at a time, just waiting patiently to be able to fly (or, maybe, just walk).  


I can't believe she is already 7 weeks old!  Time has flown by.  I already miss things about her "youth" that she doesn't do anymore because she is too "mature".  For example, she doesn't do the sudden shocking movement of her arms because she's learning how to control her reflexes.  She also can open both eyes now, but when she was just a couple of days old that was too much work, so we often just got one-eye-opened greetings.  
Here's a picture of her a less than a week old:

Here's a picture of her now:

Here's how old I feel she's going to be next week:

Maren's (small) Family

After writing a post on Michael's family, I figured I'd better prove that I have family too - regardless of how small.  So here are some random pictures gathered over the last month of Avi's new family - the Pedersen and Dudley side.  

Avi getting kissed by Grammy Peggy.

Maren, Mary Cooper (Maren's second cousin), Oretta (Maren's paternal grandmother's sister who is 94 years old), and Aveah (looking rather funny in this picture).

Auntie Margie, who is a mere 92 years old, with Aveah just a week old.

Maren's brother Brant, his wife Aryn and Baby Avi enjoying siestas, shoulder rubs, and hugs respectively.

Grandpa Paul who's getting the hang of holding Avi.  Doesn't she look peaceful?

Aveah wearing her iPod onsie (which is what we gave to Maren's parents to break the news that Maren was pregnant).  

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Michael's (extensive) family

We've written about Grandma Carmen on this blog before, but can her (amazing) story ever be told too much?  Mother of 16, grandma of 45+, great-grandma to even more, great-great grandma to a fortunate few, this woman has a lot of love to receive and even more to give!  While visiting her house on Saturday a "few" of her descendants dropped by (a few meaning about 25).

Aveah, Great-Grandma Carmen, Grandma (Jadda) Jules.  Grandma's kissing the bottom of Avi's feet which is a Lebanese tradition.  If you ever get the chance, try kissing the bottom of a newborn's foot.  There is nothing more sweet and precious!

Grandma Carmen enjoying Aveah.

Brilee, Aveah's closest cousin (in age) just 2 weeks apart, practicing her opera!  Isn't she cute?!  How come Aveah didn't get some of that lush, long hair?

Two of Jules' seven sisters gawking at Avi's adorable face.  From left to right: Grandma Jules, Great-Auntie Deborah, Great-Auntie Carmella, the illustrious Aveah.

Grandma Carmen's welcomed 5 great-grandchildren into the world in the last 12 months.  Here are 3 of them.  Kabella (4 months), Aveah (6 weeks), Brilee (4 weeks).  

Welcome to Fresno, Avi!

When we pulled into Maren's parent's driveway on Wednesday night, we were greeted by this sign caught in the glow of our car's headlights.  This was Aveah's first visit to Fresno (out of the womb) and what a greeting she got!

Annette claims she didn't make this sign (that the Fresno Convention and Visitor's Breau did), but I don't know if we can believe her.

Annette holding "the Dove."

Proud G-Pappa Pedersen

Friday, August 7, 2009

Club, cult, or community : the brotherhood of parenthood.

So I'm sitting in the waiting area at the car repair shop recently, and the grubby guy behind the counter stands up and intently heads right towards me. Right when I think he's about to take a swing at me (out of some Vietnam flashback where he's mistaken me for charlie), his hand darts out from behind his back and he puts a baby bib in front of my face. The baby bib reads, "Mud Flap." Oh. Heart-attack-man is sweet on my baby girl. He then gently begins to reminisce when his little boy was the size of Avi and how fast the time has gone, and before you know it, she'll be poppin' out babies of her own and then you're a grandpa.

A couple of days ago, Maren and I are in jamba juice, and the love child of Fabio and Bob Marley walks in with his mini-entourage. Before I know it, he's showing us iPhone pictures of his 6 month old girl. While his cohorts are pushing his salon biz. cards in our hands, he too reminisces about the quick passing of infancy and advises us to cherish this stage in Avi's life.

This kind of thing happens all the time. People-- parents-- from every walk of life, any size, shape, color, background, temperament, whether stranger, acquaintance, or friend, will stop us, gaze on Avi, and longingly talk about when their child was this small. They'll share story after story of their babies' sleep habits, wake habits, poop habits, burb habits, etc., as well as all of the tried and true tips. And it hit me not too long ago that I relateItalic to this wide (and often weird) assortment of humanity in a very profound way. They've experienced what we're experiencing. Even people who I've known before-- I'm finding that I'm now seeing many of them differently. Whereas I used to regard them as individuals who had kids, I now see them as Parents (captial P) who've been in the trenches.

And the looks. We walk down the aisle in the grocery store, a woman gives one of those looks in Avi's direction, and you can decipher years in that one glance. She's remembering her own child, now in her twenties, or her teens, or his tweens, or maybe only months (it's amazing how differently babies change in a matter of weeks). I read those looks all the time. Last week, the thrift store lady firmly demanded that I show her my baby (I had been experiencing baby-display fatigue and tried to duck out of the store quickly; I even had Avi in a camoflauged, covered sling, and this woman with baby-radar still detected her). I relented, and soon, a small gathering of gawking admirers formed around me (well, around Avi to be more precise. I'm not that hot). I knew instantly who among them were parents and who were not, based on The Look. It's usually only parents, typically moms, who express this Look, and my ability to discern the look meant that I had become one of Them. (More on The Look in an upcoming post). I had joined their club, which in some ways resembles a kind of cult-- with baby as cult leader who persuasively dictates most of what we do and when we can do it, all the while accepting our constant adoration. Yes, we'll gladly drink the Kool-Aid. We'll even make popsicles out of it.