16 September 2010

18-month doctor's appointment

Yesterday, Avery had her 18-month doctor's appointment. Here are her latest stats: Weight - 23 pounds, 3 ounces (25th percentile) Length - 30.25 inches (25th percentile) Head circumference - unknown inches (5th percentile) Again, the doctor said that even though she's small, she's growing proportionally in all areas. When the weather changes, we've noticed that Avery gets a runny nose and a little cough. We were afraid this meant that she has seasonal allergies like Daddy. But thank goodness the doctor didn't think that. He suggested that the weather affects her, but since the symptoms last only a few days instead of weeks, it's probably nothing to worry about. So we'll continue treating the symptoms with Benedryl once a day as needed. We also talked about what she should be learning and if we should consider preschool in a year or two. She is ahead on some areas and on target in others. The doctor said we should focus on building her vocabulary, which is what we've been doing. And her vocabulary has been growing each week! As for preschool, he told us that its purposes are to learn how to obey teachers, to learn about the structure of school and to socialize with other children. She can learn most of this each week in Sunday School at church. As long as she's learning her ABCs and reaching other academic milestones, we won't need to worry about preschool until she's 4 and getting ready for kindergarten. We were glad to hear that. It's good to know that we're doing all of the right things in the way of helping her learn and grow. And we know that Avery's grandmas, who both are former teachers, also will help us teach her while they watch her during the day! Her next doctor's appointment will be in March, after she turns 2.

15 September 2010

Kicking off the football season

When I saw this Dallas Clark jersey a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist buying it for our little Colts fan. Hopefully it will be big enough to wear for a few seasons.
While we love football, you know we're a big basketball family. So what else would Avery do but play basketball while wearing her football jersey?
She should have suited up and helped them play the game. Maybe they would have won!

14 September 2010

Avery's first visit to the zoo

Lately Chris said he hasn't felt like he's spent enough time with his girls, thanks to some unexpected work travel and a busy soccer season. So he took a personal day last Friday, and we all went to the zoo. It was Avery's first time to see these animals up close. Every time she saw an animal she recognized, she either made the animal sound or imitated the animal. We went early in the day and enjoyed beautiful weather. We saw a lot of animals since it was cool and less crowded than later in the day.

First we visited the "ishes," what Avery calls fishes. We also stopped at the shark touch pool.

Mommy and Daddy were brave enough to touch the sharks, but Avery decided not to.
She was a little nervous about the penguins. She thought they were going to come through the glass and touch her.
The polar bear was too busy napping to play around in the water.
Our zoo features a really neat underwater viewing area in the dolphin arena.
Avery liked looking at the dolphins swimming around her.
Next was the most fun part of the day -- meeting the giraffes.
Avery got up close and personal with this baby giraffe.
I think he would have let Avery pet him if she had tried.
Later, Avery had the chance to feed the giraffes. She got a big piece of a sweet potato and was told to hold it out for the giraffe to grab. Chris was waiting for one of the little ones to take the sweet potato, but instead this adult reached in and grabbed the sweet potato right from Avery's hand!
She didn't freak out at all, but she still was wondering what in the world just happened!
Next we saw some rhinos,
the lions,
and the elephants.
And here's Avery's impersonation of an elephant.
The newest exhibit at the zoo are the cheetahs, and it's sponsored by Tony Stewart and his foundation.
Avery kept saying "ow, ow" ("meow, meow"). We didn't expect to get this close to these amazing creatures!
We stopped for a photo with Tony Stewart, and Avery had to tickle him under the chin.
Apparently Tony Stewart is her new best friend, according to the casual hand on his shoulder.
Avery and I met some tigers.
And finally we saw some gibbons.
Then Avery demonstrated what a monkey does by tickling under her arms and saying "ee, ee".
We had a blast at the zoo together. Next I think the grandparents want to experience it with her, too!

13 September 2010

IndyCar up close: The videos

Finally, the videos. Here are the videos Chris took during our time on pit road. First up are three videos of simulated pit stops and other action prior to the race.
Next, Tony Kanaan nearly ran into us while riding his moped to his pit box.

And finally, here's the video of our encounter with Arie Luyendyk.

I hope you enjoyed Chris' commentary as much as the actual videos!

12 September 2010

IndyCar up close: The races

And now for the real reason we went to Kentucky -- the races.

First up was the Indy Lights race.

We saw most of this race from pit lane.
A very interesting perspective, don't ya think?
Pippa Mann taking the checkered flag. This was her first win in the series. She had the pole and lead from start to finish, winning by more than six seconds.
At one point, Chris realized that we were standing in a prime spot. We were at the start/finish line but on pit road. And that's where they take the winning cars to victory lane. So we waited for Pippa to bring her car to victory lane.
Hi, Pippa! She was so excited about her victory that she stalled her car! What a shame. But that gave me plenty of time to snap some great pictures.
And there's Pippa celebrating in victory lane.
Then came the main event. Here's the view from our seats.
We were just at the end of pit road, but we could see the entire racetrack. Pretty cool since I'm used to seeing just a turn or two.
And they're off!
The race came down to fuel strategy. All of the top cars had to pit for splash and go stops, except Helio. Here are three of the front cars coming in for their final stops.
So Helio won the race when he didn't have to pit at the end. It was a very exciting race with lots of passing. But the end was a little anticlimatic.
Somehow I missed Helio doing his patented fence-climbing celebration. But here he is afterward.

IndyCar up close: The people

Here's the really fun post -- all of the racing celebrities we saw. As soon as we arrived in the garage area, we saw Jon Beekhuis and Bob Jenkins, two members of the TV commentating crew on Versus.
Next up was our favorite moving chicane, Milka Duno.
When we moved to pit road, we saw Michael Andretti watching the Indy Lights race.
As well as Sam Schmidt. His driver, Pippa Mann, won the Lights race.
Before the main race, we saw him on pit road again.
Back in the garages, Dan Wheldon (who we affectionately refer to as "Caps" because of his goofy capped teeth) nearly ran us down in his moped. Chris was pleased to see that Dan wears his own merchandise.
At the Sarah Fisher Racing hauler, we saw both Graham Rahal
And his boss, Sarah Fisher.
Near the Penske garages, we saw The Captain himself. When we saw him go into another trailer, we waited for awhile, hoping to see him come back out.
Not only did we get a closer view, Roger Penske actually spent a lot of time signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.
Driving through the garages were Vitor Meira and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Near the media center, Janel pointed out Pippa Mann leaving the building with her winning trophy. Cool! So we got a few pictures of her. Then Chris stepped in and politely asked for a photo.
So he got a picture of the Lights race winner just 30 minutes after her victory!
Also near the media center, we saw Robin Miller, who used to write for The Indianapolis Star and now works for Speed TV.
This is IndyCar technical director Kevin Blanch. He's the guy Helio Castroneves tried to attack after the race in Edmonton.
Just before we left pit lane, we saw Arie Luyendyk sauntering toward the two-seater car. (He drove Terrell Owens in the two-seater before the green flag dropped. Chris couldn't let this Indy 500 legend walk by without getting a picture.
So here are Chris and Arie maybe 30 minutes before the start of the race.
Look! There's another legend, A.J. Foyt. We weren't brave enough to approach that tough guy for a picture.
Here are the drivers waiting for their introductions.
We didn't get very close to the stage, but we did see Tony Kanaan
as well as Graham Rahal
and Sarah Fisher.
Although I was so excited to see all of the famous people up close, I was a little disappointed that I never saw my favorite driver, Dario Franchitti, except when he was standing on the platform for drivers' introductions. I guess that was my only disappointment for the entire evening!