Into the Fourth Year III


Watching Snow White with Mommy on a cold February evening.  Mommy helped Ava get through some of the scary spots.


Carter used the same blanket the next day when it got down to 5 degrees outside.


Another Friday with Daddy at McDonald's.  I thought that I brushed her hair before we left.  Maybe not.


Enjoying a borrowed french fry a moment later.


A drawing that Ava did on Daddy's birthday.  When we ask her who these people are, she makes up names on the spot, and this one is definitely "Shona NO-na."


The next day, showing Grampa John how she puts on her shoes by herself.  Ava's aware that Velcro shoe straps aren't much of a challenge anymore and she's told us that she wants to learn how to tie real laces soon.


Listening to Grampa John talk to her while she rocks in his rocking chair.


Cousins Valerie and Brianna on the same chair, but obviously not on the same day!  I took this probably eight or nine years ago now.


Posing for me as asked when I saw that the light in the gym at daycare might make for a nice picture.


And, not as willing to pose for me next day on our walk around the chilly and windy campus.


Ava ran and ran and ran around this appliance store until the clerk put Shrek 2 on a big screen.  Ava then sat like this for a good half hour.  It was amazing and it reminded me of those tranquilizer darts that zoologists use.


The next day...waiting for lunch to be served.  Naptime was also moments away, as you might be able to tell.


Trying on a pair of Cousin Brianna's shoes because they match her purple outfit so well, but....


...maybe she'll try again in a few years.


The light in our house isn't usually very good, but this brief burst of sunlight on a Sunday afternoon in late March made for some nice pictures.  Ava was absorbed in playing with a toy while in her new Snow White outfit.


The light was fading quickly...


Listening to songs from the Sound of Music (her latest favorite movie) and singing along.  Ava can sing most of "Do-Re-Mi" unassisted and without coercion.


A return visit to the McDonald's playroom.  Again, Ava was afraid to venture much further into it than what you see here.  She told me on the way there that--like the last two times--she was going to go up to the first level (seen here at the top right) only.


But, with a little coaching, she finally made up to the level beyond that...


...and then, there was simply no stopping her!


Higher still!


And then back to the start via the purple slide, which made her hair even more messy.


She's in there somewhere...


There, exactly.  Once again, this is a crop of the photo above, with no enlargement of the image at all.  I'm learning to avoid the zoom on this camera and just take the shot as is and crop it all later.


In front of a grid of mirrors at the Butler Institute in Youngstown.  Ava needed to be about a foot taller for the mirror to work.  She can see Mommy, but she can't see herself.  So, Mommy picked her up, and...


...then she got to see what all the fuss was about.


Mommy made Ava a strap for her Wiggles guitar so that hers would be more like mine.  Ava always reminds me to use the strap on mine, even when I'm just sitting down.  She says that it's important.


This table was clean one morning.  And then Ava got up.


A chance to meet the Easter Bunny at the supermarket on a Saturday.


Waiting with great seriousness for the call to dance on a Thursday afternoon...


...And then returning to her silly state once they are called.


Ava said that she wanted to go with me to an art opening, but we were only there a few minutes when she got this look on her face.  She kept on asking me to take her home because there weren't any more dandelions there to pick.


Looking for Easter eggs in the backyard of Grandma Pat and Grandpa Don, Valerie and Brianna's grandparents.  She found all 20+ eggs that had her name written on it.  Notice that this is the same basket that Ava used last year and the year before that...It looks like the basket is getting smaller each year, doesn't it?


This was from the first attempt at doing Ava's annual Hanami picture. I knew that this picture was a keeper and would appear here, if only because it shows her in her pink Red Sox t-shirt that I got her at Fenway Park a year ago (it has Jason Varitek's name and number on the back, just like my t-shirt).  This was the first time that she agreed to wear it, but only because it was baseball shirt day at daycare.

It's fun to compare this Hanami picture to 2005, 2004, and 2003.


On a walk during a Friday with Daddy on the last Friday of April.


Some of the trees were blossoming at their peak.  Even though I'd taken a Hanami picture a few days before, I thought that I could get another one on this day.


I took a lot of posed shots that weren't very good...Ava was making silly faces in most of them.  Then I turned my back on her and told her that I was done taking pictures.  A few minutes later I got this shot without her knowing it.


And a crop of that picture.


I saw Ava sprint into her dance class as usual this day, then I looked away, because nothing special usually happens in the first few minutes.  But, only seconds later I looked up to see that she had gotten herself into the starting position for the routine that they've been working on for the summer dance recital.  She was ready to go!


Playing under a blanket, one of her favorite and giggle-inducing things to do.