All Good Things Must Come to an End

Now that Nicole is three years old, we've decided to shut down the BabyBlog - at least for the time being. Nicole is hardly a baby, and she hasn't toddled for a very long time. She is a little girl now and so the BabyBlog must move on, too.

Nicole has brought an incredible amount of happiness and joy into our lives. As I look back, there have been many moments that I will always cherish. These are some of the highlights.

  1. Hearing Nicole's heartbeat for the first time.
  2. Getting my first good look at Nicole after the delivery.
  3. Being a husband and a father.
  4. Carrying Nicole on my shoulders.
  5. Watching Nicole blow raspberries.
  6. Exchanging high-five's with Nicole.
  7. Watching Nicole use her imagination.
  8. Reading to Nicole before bedtime.
  9. Checking on Nicole before our bedtime.

Plenty of good times lay ahead and we still want to keep in touch with all our family and friends, so as we send one blog into retirement, we'll also be starting up a new family blog. We hope to have the Avery Family Blog up and running by the end of February. Same address, new blog. See you all there! - Scott, Manivanh, and Nicole!

January 27, 2007 in Three Years Old | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl
It is hard to believe but Nicole is three years old today. How time flies when you have a beautiful, young girl in your family. 

January 24, 2007 in Three Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Meet Ziggy

Carriage Ride

Traffic Jam at the Market

Ziggy
Last weekend, we took Grammy and Papa to Seattle for a ride on our favorite carousel and a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Both were a lot of fun but I think the carriage ride was especially nice. Ziggy (our horse) did a great job navigating the bustling streets of downtown Seattle and observed all the rules of the road. And, it turns out, Ziggy and Nicole have something in common - both love to eat carrots!

January 5, 2007 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas 2006

Santa Claus

Nicole giving cookie to Santa

Getting acquainted
On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus visited Nicole and the rest of our family at Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Lindsey's home in Covington. Our merry group included Nicole, Mommy and Daddy, Grammy and Papa, Bill and Jenny (Jonathan's parents), and Ashleigh (Jonathan's sister).

We were all relieved to find out Nicole really had been a good girl all year long. (As if there was any doubt!) In fact, Santa gave everyone a gift before he left to prepare for his night's work. Nicole gave Santa a cookie and a carrot for Rudolph who was waiting with the other reindeer at the end of the street.

January 5, 2007 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Santa 2006

Santa2006
There are Hallmark moments, and then, there are priceless moments like sitting on Santa's lap when you are three years old. Compare this picture with Nicole at one and two years old!

December 22, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Carousel Groupies

Carousel
At least once every holiday season, we try to make the trip across the water to Seattle so we can do a little shopping and enjoy all the sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest at Christmas time. Nicole is a big fan of the carousel and this year was no exception. Her cute smile disappeared as soon as we put her on a horse and a very serious/pouty face appeared in its place.

December 18, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wind Storm

Mommy and Nicole

Timber!

Crash!
On Friday, we had a really big wind storm. Lots of trees came down, and our power went out for 24 hours. We found out later that the winds reached 69 mph in our area and 90 mph on the Strait of Juan de Fuca - nearly a million people lost power during the storm. Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Jonathan are still waiting for their power to come back on.

December 17, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Getting Ready for Christmas

Christmas Tree
Nicole is old enough now that she can put ornaments on the Christmas Tree and be helpful. She handled all of the low branches while I worked on the upper ones. Together, we make a pretty good team!

December 17, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chopsticks

Chopsticks
Nicole is really getting good at using chopsticks. We started letting her use them to play with her food as soon as she could hold one in her hand. At first, I was worried she was going to poke herself in the eye but now she can grab udon noodles and feed herself very well, thank you very much. She still has to pick out the bok choy by hand though!

December 11, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Potty Training - Making Progress?!

Just in the last couple of days, Nicole has made a real breakthrough in her potty training. We no longer have to prompt her to go potty. Now, she gets up and goes to the bathroom when she feels the "urge". Even better, she's going "Number 2" on the big potty! We can't throw the diapers away yet but we can see light at the end of the tunnel and just in time for Christmas, too!

December 8, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commodus the Pug

Nicole and Commodus

Nicole and Commodus
We are dogsitting for my sister and her husband this week and next while they are in Hawaii. Nicole loves to have Commodus around all the time, even when it is bath time. Commodus doesn't seem to mind the extra attention either!

December 1, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving
Nicole was a big help in the kitchen when we prepared our Thanksgiving feast this year. She made sure I didn't forget any ingredients, and she even got to run the electric mixer. This was the best pumpkin pie ever! We missed Grammy and Papa and Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Jonathan but had a great time celebrating the holiday with our friends, Natacha and Somphane. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Potty Hat

Potty Hat 
We've been working with Nicole on potty training for some time. What do you think - is she making progress or is she starting to regress?

November 26, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Look at Me

When Nicole does something naughty, we try to get her to look at us when we reprimand her. I usually say something like, "Nicole, look at Daddy. Don't make a mess in your room. Go back and pick up your toys like a good girl." This technique has worked out very well so far.

Nicole must have thought it was a good idea, too, because she has tried the same thing with me! The other day, she said, "Daddy. Look at me. (putting her hand on my cheek) I want chocolate. I want chocolate now." And she had the most sincere look in her eyes, too.

November 21, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

By Myself!

Nicole's new favorite phrase is, "By myself!" This isn't a big deal if she knows how to do the thing she wants to do, like put her clothes on in the morning. It can be a real problem however when she wants to brush her teeth or get into her car seat with muddy shoes.

November 19, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lao Dress

Lao Dress
Nicole is modeling her new outfit from Uncle Thongchan and Aunt Chanthala. It was very sweet of them to pick this out and send it all the way from Laos. Kop jai lai lai!

November 7, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Halloween

Halloween at Microsoft
Trick or treating at Microsoft is like shooting fish in a barrel! So much candy, so little time!

Trick or Treat
We visited Grammy and Gramps' old neighborhood to see if anyone would recognize us - and grab some more candy of course! The night air was brisk but at least it wasn't raining.

Nicole and Her Loot
Happiness is ... a pirate and her treasure!

October 31, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jack-O-Lantern Carvers

Pumpkin Experts
Nicole didn't like the idea of carving a "scary" jack-o-lantern so we did our best to put a smile on this pumpkin's face. She also thought it might be a good idea to fill the pumpkin up with candy but her Mom told her she would have to wait until Halloween to pig out on candy.

October 10, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sugar Pumpkin

Sugar Pumpkins
We had perfect weather this weekend to visit our favorite pumpkin patch. (Notice the lack of rain in the picture!) Nicole liked the sugar pumpkins because she could pick them up and hold them. We ended up getting a slightly larger model that we will carve into a Jack-O-Lantern at home.

October 10, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nicole the Explorer

Dora Nightgown
Nicole got a special package in the mail from her Grammy this week. There were lots of stickers and clothes inside. Her favorite outfit – by far – is this Dora the Explorer nightgown and lace robe. She can't wait to put it on in the evening when she gets ready for bed. Thanks, Grammy!

October 10, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Our Bonnie Pirate Nicole

Pirate Nicole

Arrrgghh! Our long lost pirate-daughter, Nicole, is visiting her mum and pop while on shore leave from her many adventures on Lake Washington.

September 24, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Daddy’s Helper

Last weekend, Manivanh told me Nicole was cleaning her potty after going No. 1. “Wow,” I said, “I don’t believe it!” But sure enough, I could hear her in the bathroom rinsing out the potty bowl and putting it away where it belongs. Just to make sure Nicole wasn’t making a mess, I checked the bathroom and everything was clean and tidy – and more importantly, so was Nicole. Needless to say, we were both impressed by our young daughter.

Flash forward to Tuesday.

When I got home from work, Manivanh told me Nicole had used the potty again and cleaned it out just like before. This time though, Manivanh watched Nicole from the doorway and saw Nicole dry her potty bowl off with my bath towel. You can guess my reaction!

September 15, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Swimmer Girl

Swimmer Girl
Several weeks ago, we bought Nicole a swimming vest. At first, she didn't want to wear it but now she's figured out that she can have a lot of fun with it on. She can't really swim yet but at least she can practice kicking her legs.

September 9, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Little Miss Karaoke

Little Miss Karaoke

Little Miss Karaoke
Nicole picked up the karaoke microphone at our friend, Anoma's, house like she was an old pro and sang Mary had a Little Lamb followed by the ABC Song. Needless to say, we were all stunned!

September 9, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Language Explosion

Last Thursday, we noticed Nicole was talking up a blue streak (again) at the kitchen table. The streak has continued, and she is able to more clearly and more articulately express herself on a wide variety of topics than ever before. I can only guess that some developmental switch in her brain finally matured and now all those pent-up wishes and desires and emotions that she couldn’t express before are finally beginning to gush forth.

September 8, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Popsicle Disaster

Popsicle Disaster
We all had a great time watching the Blue Angels and hydroplane races at Seafair in Seattle this year. The weather was sunny and hot, perfect weather, really, for a cold treat. Nicole got a giant popsicle, which melted before she could finish it off. Just be glad you can't see the rest of her clothes or shoes!

August 8, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Conversation With Nicole

Daddy: "Nicole, you're a monkey!"

Nicole: "No, I'm not."

Daddy: "Well, you're acting like a monkey!"

Nicole: "No, I'm not."

Daddy: "Well then, what are you?"

Nicole: "I'm two!" (Nicole holds up two fingers.)

Daddy: "Then what am I?"

Nicole: "You're three!"

Daddy: "Oh?!"

August 8, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I love you, Daddy!

This evening while I was getting Nicole ready for bed, she stood up and gave me a big hug and said, "I love you, Daddy!" This is the first time Nicole has spontaneously said, "I love you," without being prompted by some one. It was a very sweet and unexpected moment for me. Parenthood can, indeed, be a singularly wonderful experience.

July 27, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Blueberry Farm

Blueberry Girl
Last weekend, we went to the blueberry farm in Bellevue to pick, what else, blueberries. Nicole did a good job getting the low hanging fruit while we worked on the upper branches. All in all, we picked about a pound of fresh blueberries, which was more than enough to keep us busy through the week.

July 21, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tone Perfect

Last weekend, Manivanh was helping Nicole count to ten in Lao. Lao has six tones plus short and long vowels so it isn't the easiest language in the world to learn to speak - at least for most adult non-native speakers. Nicole's tones, however, were spot on even though her pronunciation was sometimes off. It was very cute listening to her sound out her numbers - neung, song, saam. It will be interesting to watch as her language skills continue to develop.

July 19, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

BabyBlog Map

BabyBlog Map
I used a tool from OneThousandPaintings to create this map of the our BabyBlog. It looks a little like a dandelion, which is appropriate for our Nicole as she likes to pick these flowers when we go to the morning market. The link comes courtesy of Edward Tufte and his excellent Web site.

July 19, 2006 in Miscellaneous, Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One, Two, Six

We've noticed for a while that Nicole will sometimes learn a new skill and then "unlearn" part of it. For example, Nicole has been able to count to ten for some time but, rather than show off her new skill and make her parents proud, she instead counts, "one, two, ... six!" She does the same thing for her ABCs and other skills, too. The only explanation I can think of is that once Nicole learns a new skill, she quickly moves on to mastering it, which for her means being a little silly.

July 11, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Princess Nicole On Her Throne

Nicole
Potty training with Nicole has been slow going. Sometimes she has success and other times, well, she just has a good time sitting on her throne. I guess that's okay so long as no one falls in!

June 25, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

Vulcanologists
For Mother's Day, we took a day trip to Mt. St. Helens. This was Manivanh and Nicole's first trip to see the volcano. The mountain is still very much active and we saw a little steam escape from the crater during our visit. The melting snow at the observatory made an even bigger impression on Nicole. She took full opportunity of the occasion to slip and slide in the remaining snow drifts and quite a few handfuls of the white stuff made it into her mouth. Hmmm, yummy! There's nothing like snow with volcanic ash on top!

May 16, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Potty Training Chronicles

Reading On The Pot
It's hard to say if Nicole is making any progress learning how to use the potty. At least she tries to go even when there's little chance of success. And of course, she gets a little reading in, too!

March 3, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Nicole

January 23, 2006 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Vaseline

The other day, Nicole used a chair to reach up on a counter and grabbed a jar of Vaseline. It didn't take long for her to pry the lid off and start smearing jelly on her table, her bookshelf, her dolls, her stuffed animals, etc. (I guess she was protecting them against the dry weather.) By the time Manivanh interrupted her little adventure, Nicole was scraping the bottom of the jar!

January 18, 2006 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Santa Meets The Terrible Two's

Santa 2005
Nicole was in a good mood until it was her turn to sit on Santa's lap. Then she let loose the floodgates and cried and cried and cried. She didn't even seem to notice when Santa gave her a candy cane. Well, there's always next year!

December 8, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ni'-col

Last week, Nicole started using her own name instead of saying "me" and "mine" all the time. It's strange how long it takes children to learn their own names when they are so naturally self-absorbed. Nicole has also started "confessing" to her own messes. She'll drop something on the floor and when we ask, "Who did that?", she'll say, "I did it!", and then point to herself. Somehow, I doubt if this behavior will last very long.

December 3, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Meet the Pumpkin Heads

Meet the Pumpkin Heads
See more pictures in "Nicole - 18 Months Old."

October 13, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Learning To Talk

Here is a list of Nicole's first words and other neologisms.

  • kaki :: "cracker"
  • kiki :: "cookie"
  • quirrl :: "squirrel"
  • bus :: "bus"
  • gohp :: Lao for "frog"
  • oum :: Lao for "Hold me"
  • gawlila :: "gorilla"
  • buddi :: "blanket"
  • bpa :: Lao for "fish"
  • watissat :: "What is that?"
  • ri'-derr :: "Right there"
  • gam :: Lao for "to take or hold something"
  • ook, ook :: "look"
  • nyo-nyo :: "noodle"
  • no-nut :: "donut"
  • babbie :: "baby"
  • dehwah :: "Cinderella"
  • namas :: "pajamas"
  • tank-um :: "thank you"
  • opapus :: "octopus"

September 26, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

20 Months Old

Bathing Beauty
Here's our bathing beauty at 20 months old. Isn't she beautiful?! We're saving this picture for when she starts dating, hopefully, in the distant future.

September 26, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mud and Worms

Mud and Worms
This is one of my favorite pieces of art that Nicole has made at daycare. It is going to be hard to top this beauty!

September 21, 2005 in Two Years Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Poo-Poo

Yesterday, our little Sweetpea grabbed her diaper and said, "poo-poo," and, you know, she was right! Hopefully this means potty training is not far behind. ;-)

September 7, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mine!

Several weeks ago, Nicole started pointing to things and saying, “My,” and, “Mine”. This wasn’t a problem when the things she wanted were hers. Recently though, she’s started saying, “Mine,” whenever she wants something that isn’t hers. She really can put on an act, too. She’ll point to something like Manivanh’s purse and say, “MINE,” in a not too loud but firm voice and then hold out her little hands as if we are going to actually hand over the goods. Then, she’ll throw a little mini-fit until she gets distracted by another thing she absolutely must have or must do.

September 7, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Movie Stars

Movie Stars
This evening, we went to the Kirkland Marina to listen to one of the Parks Department's free summer concerts. Marilyn Keller, an R&B singer, sang a mixture of jazz standards and pop melodies and she really put on a good show. Nicole even danced a little with her Dad under the giant gazebo by the water.

August 10, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Idyllwood Park

Nicole at Idyllwood Park
This weekend, we went to Idyllwood Park on Lake Sammamish. It was a hot day and Nicole had fun walking in the "surf" and splashing about in the water. Miraculously, she managed to keep her diaper dry and that was good news for all of us.

August 1, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

18 Months Old

18 Months Old
It's hard to believe but our little Nicole just turned 18 months old. We celebrated in the usual fasion with a visit to the clinic. Nicole weighs 26 lbs and 5 oz and is 34 1/4 inches long. This visit was particularly fun because Nicole did not need any shots or blood work. Yippee! We also celebrated with a trip to the Seattle Aquarium for the whole family.

July 26, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

17 Months Old

17 months
A few days ago, Nicole turned the big 1-7; that's right, our little girl is 17 months old! Nicole can now run without doing faceplants and is expanding her ever-growing vocabulary with bigger and more complex words. She can very clearly say "ba-by" and "mom-my" and occasionally says something quite extraordinary - even for a 17 month old. The other day while I was changing a diaper, I could've sworn she said, "Qu'est que c'est?" (French for "What is this?") As it so happened, she took the words right out of my mouth.

June 28, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jollyjimble!

We were leaving Grammy and Gramps and saying good-bye one day when Nicole suddenly blurted out, "Jollyjimble!" Well, jollyjimble to you, too, Sweetpea! I searched the Internet and found no other mention of the word so it appears Nicole has added a new word to the English language. Unfortunately, only Nicole knows what jollyjimble means so, for now, feel free to use the word however you please!

June 7, 2005 in One Year Old | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)