Monday, August 16, 2010

The Multi-Million Dollar Bike Ride

While in Hood River, Oregon, we took an 8-10 mile bike ride with Avi, Maren's parent's, Uncle Brant, Aunt Aryn & her brother Joel. This bike road was the former highway along the Columbia River Gorge. It had gorgeous views throughout the ride and included a huge tunnel! Supposedly, this bike trail took about $13 million to make! (That's a lot of money right now Aveah, in case when you grow up gas costs $300,000 a gallon and a new pair of jeans is $2.5 million.) See, I feel rich, and indeed we are very rich to live in a country where we can experience such beauty and fun!

Avi's not in her seat in the front because she's asleep on Maren's back!

We found a really cool cafe that had a kid's section. After Aveah sat on Auntie Aryn's lap and got a story read to her, it was Maren's turn.

Grampy, Crazy-Lady Aryn (complete with bike grease on her face - where else was she to wipe it after having to replace her bike chain twice?), Maren, Avi (feeling and reciprocating the energy from Aryn), and Michael.

Multi-million dollar tunnel. Sooo fun to ride through - the wind was intense!

Avi pointing like Lewis and Clark did hundreds of years ago.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What I think about at 4:16 a.m.

I dream of Avi sleeping through the night so I can get some decent sleep. She's 13 and a half months old now and she still wakes up anywhere between 2-5 times a night to feed. Lately, she's been doing better at sleeping. Now, some nights when I'm lucky, she'll only wake me two times! Last night, I fell asleep at 11:00pm. At 11:13 p.m. she woke up and so did I. Then, a blessed thing happened: she slept until 4:46 a.m.! Well, it would have been divine if I hadn't woken up at 4:16 a.m. wondering why she hadn't woken up in hours to feed! So, I laid there (knowing she was going to wake me up the second I fell asleep) and thought about how much I miss her. Even though she is just in the next room over, and I just breast-fed her 5 hours ago, and I will see her all day long, I missed her intensely. I felt so lonely. I began to mourn her growing up and going to school someday. My husband lay asleep next to me, and his quiet slumber added to my loneliness. I recounted how everyday Avi grows farther and farther away from me. At one time, she was literally as close as another person can be to another person: inside my womb. Then she was born, and in that few fleeting last seconds of birthing, as she slipped a million miles an hour out of me - we grew monumentally further from each other. I held her all day long and slept next to her all night long for that first half year. Then she was ready for her own bed. And then she was ready to be put down on the ground to play on her own. Then she was crawling, crawling towards things and away from me (and then back to me). Now she is walking. Soon she'll be running. Then driving. Then flying...

I guess all this pondering makes me realize I really don't mind her waking me up in the middle of the night. I treasure picking up her little body in my arms in the twilight dusk, curling up on the mattress in her room, while she impatiently sucks a mid-night snack and while I bury my nose into her fine, barely-there hair, breathing in deeply, trying to inhale those remaining wisps of her newborn self which are now just a memory. A bittersweet memory. This time, in the middle of the night while the rest of the world sleeps, is our time. Just Avi and me, together, hanging out. My hope is that we will continue to have precious times - just the two of us - as she gets older: a young girl, a teenager, an adult and woman, and maybe even when she is a mother of her own. Let's just not continue to do it at 1:00 a.m., okay!

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

First ice cream experience. Actually, it's gelato.

Being silly at one of the nicest restaurants on Granville Island.

Avi loves playing peek-a-boo behind dinner napkins.

Furniture Shopping in East Vancouver. All I've got to say is Avi's got style.

Walking from Granville Island.

I love wearing her in the sling. She is so close and snuggly.

The coolest swing ever! Avi and I both got to have fun in it!

Look at Avi's expression. Don't see one? That's because she didn't have time to react. Michael zipped down that slide almost before I could snap a shot!

The women's restroom in one of the swankiest restaurants I've ever been to. Yes, that's red carpet in the restroom!

Avi grabbing some love from daddy. She was his dessert after his meal.

Here's what Avi chewed on while we weren't looking. Luckily, she spit it out!

Up past her bed time, but for good reason - Spain's firework performance in Vancouver (part of an international festival). It was the best show I've ever seen. Avi was just happy to not be sleeping.


Hanging out at a Seattle Coffee House. Only decaf for this babe.

Avi playing with kids, or, rather kids playing with her (see the play spoon feeding going on) at the downtown Seattle CoHousing.

Hiwatha Cohousing in downtown Seattle.

With Cousins Karen & Camille. Avi was showing off her new froggie hat which her mom bought her at a Seattle street fair.

Biking through GasWorks Park.

Visiting Great-Great Uncle Tommy & Evie in Federal Way, Washington.

Ferry Cruising

We took a total of four ferries around the Gulf Islands in British Columbia this summer. Avi loved going out on the deck and walking around and wooing people with her cuteness.

Mommy holding Avi in the sling on a lower deck.

Inside one of the walkways from the auto deck, Avi's feet pop out the side of Mommy's waist as she is worn in the sling.

We found a door (under a stairway) that was just Avi's size. Now we just need to get her a toddler size Crew outfit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Books, hear me roar!

Our favorite thing in Seattle (even more than the caffeine) is the downtown public library. It’s a masterpiece of modern architecture and interior design and it’s spectacular not only for adults but for pre-literate 13 month olds as well. It’s truly an amazing house for books. Our favorite area is the red room/hallway-- where literally everything in sight is the same shade of bright, shiny red— and we were curious how Avi would react. Well, when we stepped out of the elevator and walked into the red hallway, it was as if we plugged Avi into electricity—she was fully jolted with excitement! She walked up and down and around the bright red halls while her happy screams (sounding like a prehistoric pterodactyl) bounced all over the place, and hearing the echo of her screams perpetuated more screaming excitement. People got a kick out of her reaction (and possibly some hearing damage) and stopped just to witness the spectacle of an ecstatic Avi.


All hail, Empress of the Red Room.


When in Vancouver, eat gelato. In particular, eat at Casa de Gelato— possibly the world’s gelato capital. They have over 200 flavors in the shop and a few hundred more that are rotated in. When you walk in and peruse the flavors, you may think you’ve stepped into a supermarket because you’ll find flavors like avocado, bleu cheese, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, scotch whiskey, lavender, and any other kitchen ingredient in your house. Avi, being the worldly and cultured person she is, had to experience this culinary phenomenon, of course. After several different tastings, she concluded that lavender was the finest, due to it’s subtle texture and prolonged after taste. (Mommy’s favorite was also the lavender, as was daddy’s when it was paired with a double scoop of the cabernet sauvignon). –Mi.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vancouver Water Parks

As a child, I remember going to the waterparks in Vancouver. The city has these awesome and completely free water parks - and kids go wild there. So, now that I have a kid of my own, I want her to experience the fun. Though I may be pushing it a little with her age (13 months while most of the kids are 4-12 years old), she held her ground (and her daddy's hand) and had a blast!
Let me down! Enough of this photo op, stuff - I want to play!

Cool Avi. I remember playing at this water park near Granville Island as a kid. Though it wasn't at all this nice. For example, the waterslide (which is just out of the frame) didn't exist in the 80's!

We also went to the Aquatic Center in Downtown Vancouver.

Avi played in their baby pool.

Mommy and Daddy played in the "big kid" dive pool! (If you look closely, you can see mommy diving off the lower left diving board.)

Avi's friend Julia. Julia came up to Avi and instantly they made friends (despite the fact that Julia is 3 times older than Avi). Julia, a little Canadian-Italian girl would pat Avi's cheeks like a loving old Italian grandmother would do to a younger person. I thought her maternal-love towards Avi was so endearing. I also thought it was special that her name was Julia, since I am sure Avi is missing her Grandmother Julia's loving.