The 2012 Massachusetts Vacation Mega Post

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Nearly a year to the day that Avery visited Massachusetts for the first time, we were back on an eastbound plane for another week of fun with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We spent three days in Leominster staying at Nana and Papa’s house and meeting Avery’s new cousin Flynn for the first time. Then, we headed down to a beach house in Plymouth for a few days of swimming, playing, and visiting with family.

Here’s a quick photo recap of the trip. You can click here for even more photos.

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Playing in a bucket

2012 Massachusetts Trip

The annual portrait with Nolan. What a difference a year makes.

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Beach fun with Amma and Emily.

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Covered in sand.

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Papa catching Avery after she climbed up on the second story roof and jumped off. (Just kidding, Papa was tossing her in the air. She’ll probably jump off the roof next year.)

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Playing music with Marc

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Roaming the beach

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Playing in the sand

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Up to no good

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Heading out into the water

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Dad and Avery

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Modeling her most patriotic outfit

2012 Massachusetts Trip

Hanging out with Amma and Papa

Sunday at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline

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We recently discovered Point Richmond, a great spot about four miles from our house in El Cerrito. There are lots good places to eat and stroll around. And on the very edge of Point Richmond is the Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline.

The park has hiking trails, a pond full of geese and seagulls, picnic areas, playgrounds, and Keller Beach – a small patch of beach on San Francisco Bay. The water is warm and the waves are pretty mellow – just right for Avery.

On Sunday, we took Avery down to Point Richmond for lunch before heading to the beach and the park for a couple hours. For a while now, Avery’s had this love-hate thing going with lemons and limes. When our drinks arrived, Avery had to have our fruit, so I turned on the video camera and let her do her thing:

Then, off to the beach and the park:

Strolling the beach with Mom

Sitting in the surf

Peeing? Maybe. OK, probably.


And running…

And sorta running…

Gathering rocks

The look you get when you say, “You can’t carry all those rocks.”

Red Sox – A’s Game

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Since the early Spring, Avery and I have been watching baseball on TV just about every day after work in preparation for the big day – her first baseball game. On July 4th, we headed over to Oakland for the Red Sox – A’s game.

After a rough start, Avery did great. We were reaching the ticket takers just as the July 4th ceremonies were ending inside the ballpark – complete with a very loud military flyover. That ended up with a solid few minutes of Avery clinging to me and wondering why we’d take her to something where big, loud planes fly just over your head. Understandable.

From there until the eighth inning, Avery handled it all like a pro. She occasionally cut loose a “Go Red Sox!” cheer, and was happy to join the crowd in applause, no matter which team was responsible. She made friends in our section and enjoyed a hot pretzel and a lemonade.

Around the seventh inning, fatigue started setting in. By the eighth inning, she was on Mom’s lap and fading fast. We were back home and putting Avery down for a nap just as the game was ending (the Red Sox lost, sadly).

All in all, it was a great day. With the Giants, A’s, Raiders, Niners, and Warriors nearby, I’m sure we’ll be catching another game soon (well, maybe not a Raiders game).

Avery and Mom

Powering through a lemonade

Avery and Dad

Patriotic fan

Time to get somebody up in the bullpen

Bring in the reliever.

Nana and Papa’s visit

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Back in June (sorry, Dad’s been slacking), Nana and Papa and their friends Sharon and Mark came to visit from Massachusetts, by way of Arizona. They were able to watch Avery in her Gymboree class, visit the new house, and have some lunch in San Francisco.

The visit flew by, but we’ll be visiting them again in Massachusetts and Arizona before the end of the year.

Avery with Nana and Papa

Avery and Papa at lunch in San Francisco


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After this weekend’s Gymboree class, we took Avery out for some ramen and sushi. She liked everything she tried, but nothing more than the chopsticks.

Mother’s Day 2012

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In what’s become an annual tradition, I got to break out all my geeky photography gear and take a Mother’s Day portrait of my beauties.

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012

And here’s a side-by-side photo from last Mother’s Day. I love seeing how much Avery’s grown.

McNears Beach

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We’re fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the nearest beach – McNears Beach in San Rafael.

A couple weekends ago, we decided to take a ride and check it out. We thought we’d just go see the beach and maybe sit in the sand for a bit so we brought some beach toys and a towel. Big mistake. Once Avery made it to the water, nothing was going to stop her from going in as far as she could (and sometimes a bit beyond that). We were lucky to have a spare outfit on hand, so we did a quick wardrobe change and turned her loose. She spent the day throwing rocks, playing in the sand, and shouting “Swimming!” to everyone who walked by.

Gymboree class

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Recently, we got Avery a membership at Gymboree. Twice a week, Sara (Avery’s nanny) takes her for play time with other kids. On Saturdays, Avery takes a more structured class that includes climbing, sliding, singing, dancing, and chasing bubbles.

It’s only been a few weeks but we’re already seeing Avery paying more attention and participating more often. She’s still prone to breaking off on her own and doing her own thing now and then.

I hope that’s always the case.




Amma’s Visit

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We just said goodbye to my mom (aka Amma) two weeks ago and Avery is still looking in every room to find her. Amma had a whirlwind trip stopping at my brother Darin’s first in Santa Barbara, on to my Uncle’s house in Bakersfield and finished up in the Bay Area visiting us. Avery didn’t let her have a moment’s peace and Amma loved every minute of it. Amma taught Avery the word “pretty” as she yanked Amma’s earings, she had her very first ice cream cone and she played in the sandbox for the very first time at the playground (without trying to eat the sand). It was a big weekend for all of us. My mom and I also took Avery to her very first session at Gymboree. Although the class was focused on going “through” things, Avery just wanted to dance. She twirled around and closed her eyes and laughed every time she heard music, regardless of what the other kids were doing. It was a wonderful trip and we miss Amma already….



Easter Sunday

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All dressed up in her Easter dress and hat.

Photo shoot is over, Dad.