24 August 2012

21 August 2012

Diving in

Did you enjoy watching the Olympics this summer as much as we did? It was fun to cheer on our country in global competition. And I always like watching the sports we usually only see at the Olympics, like fencing, rowing, beach volleyball and water polo.

Sometimes the Olympics can inspire us to try a new sport or encourage us to be more athletic. I had no idea this would happen to Avery!

One day we were watching diving together. She quickly learned what the divers do before, during and after their dives. The best part is that she went to the bathroom to get a washcloth. Watch:

After she spent so much time in the pool this summer, I don't think it will be long before she's diving off the real diving board!

20 August 2012

15 August 2012

What we did on our summer vacation


That's the sound of summer flying by at lightning speed. Since Avery isn't in school, our summers aren't very different than the rest of the year. Our routine stays very much the same, except it also includes playtime outside and in the pool. But it seems we were extra busy this summer.

So this will be an all-in-one summer blog post. I'll apologize now for what's sure to be a lengthy post.

First up, we enjoyed a quick trip to Chicago for the Fourth of July holiday. The three of us plus my parents and sister went to Chicago from the 4th through the 7th. One of the goals of this trip was to see the house where my paternal grandfather grew up. My sister is our family historian and recently started her own genealogy blog. She wanted a good picture of the house to add to her family picture collection. So our first stop was in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn.

According to my dad and aunt, the house looks very much the same as they remember. It seems to be in pretty good shape, considering it's at least 100 years old.

Next we checked in to our hotel in Rosemont. Then we hopped on the "L" for Avery's first train ride and headed to Navy Pier for the holiday festivities. Little did we know that the entire Midwest was spending Independence Day in Chicago. Imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of people crowded into tiny Navy Pier in the midst of triple-digit temperatures. While the five of us were complaining and miserable, Avery went along with the flow and didn't seem to mind the crowds and the heat. (By the way, I'm blaming the small amount of pictures on both of these factors. I just wasn't in a picture-taking mood this weekend.)

Mom suggested riding the Ferris wheel. Dad and Chris opted out, so just the girls took the ride.

Dad and Chris waving at us.

At this point, Chris is on the ground telling my dad, "Shirley had better make Avery sit down before I start freaking out!" Chris didn't realize that the gondola was completely enclosed, and Avery didn't realize how far off the ground she was!

The Ferris wheel provided some great views of the city.

Avery loves carousels, so she had to ride this one.

It's a good thing Karen didn't mind accompanying her because Avery didn't want anyone else to go with her!

We ate a late dinner at Navy Pier then watched a few minutes of the fireworks show. (Avery wasn't very impressed with her first fireworks experience.) We wanted to get on the trolley quickly and head back to the train station before the crowds tried to leave downtown. We really beat the rush!

Yeah, that's what we all felt like. I think Avery got to bed around 10 p.m. if not later, which was a pretty long day for her. But she didn't complain once! I, on the other hand...

The next day we went to The Museum of Science and Industry.

We stopped to check out this aircraft carrier model and were surprised to see it was the USS George Washington, Casey's ship! We were trying to imagine that he was one of the red-jacket guys on the deck loading ordnance into the planes.

Avery liked watching this enormous model train display. It reminded her of the train set Grandpa puts out at Christmas.

I've always loved this airplane. I tried to get Avery to walk through the exhibit with me, but for some reason she wasn't interested.

What she was interested in was the old fashioned ice cream shop! She ate several bites from everyone's desserts.

On Friday, we all made our first ever visits to Ikea. It was fun to window shop. We may have to go to our nearest store in Cincinnati soon and buy something!

After lunch, we went to Legoland. More crowds! And unruly, unsupervised children! This attraction wasn't quite what we expected, but Avery still had a good time. And I guess that's what it's all about!

On our way home Saturday, we stopped at Fair Oaks Farms. This was my favorite part of the trip. If you live in the area, I highly recommend visiting the farm. Admission includes some milk-related exhibits, a bus ride through the cow barns, games, activities and the cow birthing barn. We got to see a calf birth! That poor mama cow needed a little help from her doctor, but it ended up being a neat experience. I'm just glad I didn't have to give birth behind glass with a theater-full of people watching me!

We stayed pretty busy and did a lot of fun things. But the highlight of the trip for me was just being together, spending time as a family.

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As I mentioned before, Avery has been doing a lot of swimming this summer. She's improved so much since the first time she got in the pool!

She's so brave when she wears her floaties! Since this video was taken, she's now swimming without holding on to Daddy. She also loves to dip under water to touch the bottom with her feet. And she even floats on her back. We'll probably have to put her in swimming lessons next summer. Hopefully she will continue to be a fish in the water, just like her Daddy.

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Thanks to my Grandma Hromada, I grew up loving musicals, and I hope to pass this along to Avery. I have so many fond memories of seeing musicals with my family at Beef and Boards. So when Karen found out that Beef and Boards was doing a run of The Wizard of Oz, she wanted to take Avery. (Mom and I tagged along, too.) We thought it would be a good way to introduce Avery to the theater since she already knows the story of Oz.

A few days before the show, I tried to explain to Avery that she would see a real Dorothy and a real Toto. I didn't want her to think we were going to see the movie. But I didn't say anything about a "real" lion!

Karen wanted Avery to wear her Dorothy costume from last Halloween. It was a little short, but she still looked adorable. Avery turned lots of heads in this outfit!

I tried getting her to leave Toto and the basket in the car. But I guess she's not Dorothy without them.

Avery was a good audience member. She was a little antsy and nervous about the experience, so she watched the whole show while sitting on my lap. The actors often walk through the crowd during their scenes. Avery didn't like it when the lion crawled right by our table!

She had a good time. I'm glad because I definitely want to take her to other shows!

13 August 2012

An artist at work

A drawing of Mommy, Daddy and Avery in a boat
sailing across the sea.

A drawing of Grandpa, Grandma, KK, Aunt Pauline, Lori Anne and Joel in a big boat.

A drawing of Daddy refereeing a basketball game.