Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our little artist

This hat was given to Avi by her neighbor Molly. Molly was in Europe when Avi was born, and I asked her to bring back something from Paris for our little baby. Well, the red Parisian beret finally fits Avi. She completed the look with an authentic paintbrush in her hands. Our little artist, who knows where she will go?

Interview with a Toddler

In many ways, Avi leads the life of a celebrity. She receives an exorbitant amount of attention in both the private and public spheres of her life. Much of what the world knows about her is filtered through the selective nature of media (i.e., blogs, websites, photos, and video). We decided to get up close and personal with Avi and discuss what’s currently on her mind-- in her words. Avi was kind enough to spend a few moments with her father in the living room of her beach home, on a sunny fall October afternoon. We discussed a wide range of topics spanning art, religion, politics, and apple juice.

Daddy: I want to thank you, Avi, for taking time out of your schedule to sit and do this interview. I know your time is in high demand and you currently have several projects going on. You could be doing your regular weekly hike, hosting a get-together with your friends and their moms, practicing your gymnastic agility on the trampoline, or keeping up with your acquaintances at parent participation and stroller strides.

Avi: Da.

Daddy: So tell us, Avi, what does it feel like to have a brain that is absorbing information at a staggering rate-- a rate that would literally make an adult completely pass out on the floor? The world is old and your mind is so new. Does your brain ever get sore from all of that activity? Does your head ever overheat? We’re talking about a lot of energy here.

Avi: Da.

Daddy: Hmm. Lately, you’ve been doing a lot of talking. Some would call it babbling, though the discerning listener will be able to pick up on the subtlety of actual words, particularly mimicked words that you repeat back to the speaker. You often speak in a string of words and sentences, sometimes paragraphs. And just the other day, you shared what appeared to be an actual story that you were recounting. By the rise and fall of your pitch, and wide hand motions accompanied by leg jumping, it was quite dramatic and seemed to involve dynamite explosions or a big bouncing ball.

Avi: Baw Baw bee-bee do. Duh doh-doh.

Daddy: Does this mean that you will be--

Avi: - Ga! Gaaaa! Anah ma daw.

Daddy: --that you will be less interested in continuing your sign language studies?

Avi: [no reply to this last question]

Daddy: Well, I hope you don’t, because you have several signing words under your belt (like “milk,” “food,” “down,” “ball,” and “drink.” Plus, you are an avid pointer. You point on command to many stated objects and most major body parts. And there is a lot of force in that little index finger of yours.

Avi: [no reply. At this point, Avi walks over to the kitchen table, finds a random cheerio underneath, and places it in her mouth].

Daddy: Apparently, you don’t ascribe to the 5 second rule?

Avi: Aaah! [Avi points to her high chair at the end of the table which means she would like some food. I pause the interview at this point to place her on the chair and provide some turkey, pita bread, and hummus. She rejects the bread & hummus by tossing it on the floor, and duly stuffs as much turkey in her mouth as she can before I remove her plate. After less than ten seconds, she’s ready to get down. She finds her sippy and takes in some apple juice. The interview resumes.]

Daddy: So Avi, where does your sense of affection come from? You are often found hugging other small children, particularly other princesses like yourself, and even after having barely made small talk. While some children find this flattering, others appear intimidated by your hugs and head-nuzzling.

Avi: Na na bee-bee doh. Bah bee, bee bee. Da.

Daddy: Let’s move onto the subject of art. You’ve always been impartial to music and dancing, and have been described as “lyrical”; in fact, you can be heard singing melodies in your morning crib. Plus, you never hesitate to get down the second a musical beat is heard. But lately you’ve taken some interest in the visual arts- particularly the medium of a ball point pen, which you prefer over crayons. Your style can be described as a mix of wide, bold, and repeated strokes, with interludes of tense, intricate movements; you seem to be straining to achieve something in particular before abandoning the whole thing. Care to share any thoughts on this?

Avi: Haw! Yeaaah! Ha baw bay da-be-do-ba. Yeaaah! Haw. Haw.

Daddy: Interesting. So, any forecasts on the upcoming state elections?

Avi: [Avi disregards the question, having exited the room, and is now climbing the steps towards the front door. She’s decided to end the interview at this point and move on to her next venture. ]

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leg Tunnels

About a month ago I was washing dishes in the kitchen sink. Avi walked over to me and started hugging the side of my leg. She wasn't begging to get up or asking for anything, she was just hugging for the sake of hugging. Since then, she's been avidly going in and out from underneath mine and daddy's legs. It must be fun being that short and having the whole world turn into a playground for you.

Under mommy's legs.

Running around.

Right before a fall.
She cried for about 10 seconds after this fall. Avi must fall 3 times an hour, but she often doesn't even make a peep. She only cries when she's hurt herself (like with a scratch) or if she's tired or hungry (and thus already cranky). She's a tough cookie. Most of the time after she falls, she wants us to pick her up and comfort her, but then after 2 seconds she wants back down on the ground to go at it again! She's pretty good at self-soothing.

Dancing with Daddy

After Michael's been gone for the day, he will come home, wash his hands, then directly pick up Avi and dance. They will twirl around the living room for a song or two - the whole time Avi has a smile on her face and Michael has an intent, sweet concentration. It is so endearing it makes my heart ache.

And afterwards, after all that serious dancing, comes the rest on the couch.

Avi's CoHousing Adventures, #72

One of Avi's endless sources of entertainment is her own belly button. She discovered it about a month ago. Now, she will lift up her shirt (or here, her dress) and show the world her belly - she is so proud!

Here she is showing her big friend, Eden, her belly. Daddy looks in from the side.

Eden let Avi wear her flower headdress made by another mom and neighbor, Rebecca.

Eden, 5 years old.

Eden playing patiently and attentively with Avi. Avi is lucky to have so many friends of all ages in cohousing.

Sitti, Grampy & Avi Dove

Sitti and Grampy Jim came over last weekend just because. I love those visits - no other reason than to see each other, chat and eat good food together. And talk about good food - they took us out to Lido - the nicest restaurant on the Central Coast! Thanks, Sitti and Grampy!

Sitti, a happy Dove, and Grampy Jim at the ocean near Lido.

Protected from the bright sun. It was a GORGEOUS day!

This is what a Dove looks like right after she wakes up. She's holding her little "Lovey" in her hands.

It is not uncanny how similar Sitti and Avi look when they are both smiling?!

Big girl in her leather chair.

Avi and Kendall: Mini Models

Sarah has all these great matching outfits from her sister who has triplets (2 girls and a boy) that are about a year older than Kendall. So, we dressed them up in coordinating outfits and had some fun. Sarah was great at managing the kids while I managed the camera.

Love those boots! (Actually, that was most of the trouble - the boots were about 2 sizes too big for Avi, so she was stuck in place while Kendall ran all over! Getting them in the same frame was very challenging!)

Aveah's doing this silly cheek-on-the-shoulder pose whenever I ask her to "pose" now! Kids are so much fun - way better than dogs! Avi knows like 30 more tricks than my dogs ever knew! Of course, there are other reasons why kids are better than dogs...

Kendall wasn't happy here, but you can't really tell - she sorta looks like she just having fun yelling.

Avi loves to hug!

Here's pictures from when we did our last photo shoot when Avi was about 10 months old.

Moss Landing, An Unexpected Fit of Inspiration

Avi and I took a road trip for a few days to go visit my brother in Scott's Valley in September. We stopped at the beach in Moss Landing (population 1,000, maybe?) and I was suddenly struck with the beauty of all that was before me. Avi was playing in the warm sand, she was wearing a hand-knit sweater by a friend, the sky was blue, and I had my camera in the car 3 feet away. Hello?! Photo shoot here I come!

I was singing to Avi and she would dance.

Learning to walk in sand was uncharted territory. She'd take 3 steps and fall down. Then get up and try again.

Putting, yet again, something inedible in her mouth. Avi when you have kids someday, just don't get mad at them - you did the same thing ALL the time!

Have you ever seen so much joy on just one face?

She looks too young to be walking. She looks like a tiny babe.

One fall that took her a little too close to the sand.

Here she saw a bird and was chasing (as fast as her little legs would take her) after it!

Found a toy (i.e. a tiny piece of driftwood) to play with in the sand.

Mommy approved toys - a ball and an empty bottle of fish oil capsules.

Unfortunately, the only picture I could get of the two of us. Oh, how I love her!


Avi has had some strange favorite foods. First is was cold, steamed broccoli! She couldn't get enough of the stuff! Then it was sliced sandwich turkey, she would gobble it up! Next, it was apples. Luckily, her new found fetish coincided with apple season around here, so we'd just walk the neighborhood and pull fresh, organic apples off the trees for little Avi.

Yummm... apple core.

This face is complete anxiousness and a little frustration. She wants to grab the camera.

Picking apples at Avila Valley Barn.

Miscellaneous September Pictures

Our beautiful gift from God. How do I know she is from God? I could have never created, grown, or sustained anything so beautiful on my own. Every time I reflect on her beauty, her health, her happiness, I am humbled by the greatness of God.

Apple picking with our parent participation class at Avila Barn. Avi is in the ergo baby on the front, bottom left.

Mimi playing with Avi on the trampoline. Who had more fun?

Avi got some static electricity from all that jumping on the trampoline!

A hot afternoon at Tessa's house in San Luis Obispo. Avi is down to her diaper and enjoying a book.

At Levon's 3rd birthday party. Avi was the youngest attendee, but that didn't stop her from being involved in everything!

Eating home-made rolls with her friends at the table. Next to her is Rachel, the little girl who came up with Avi Dove as a name.

Eating a cupcake!

Hitting the pinata!