Ava turns 9 months old

Today our mobile little baby girl has officially be out of the womb as long as she was in! A couple weeks ago I was talking about how she’s not exactly crawling but has her own way of getting around. Well, now she’s full–on crawling and even starting to pull herself up to her feet. Most nights I set her down to play while I’m doing homework but I end up having to go scoop her up and bring her back near me about a dozen times. She’s very inquisitive and loves to grab and hold things. She is starting to develop more facial expressions and she "talks" constantly. We think she’s going to be quite the little talker when she gets a bit bigger.

I had to call in sick two days this week at work. I went in on Tuesday but started getting a fever and a sharp earache so I had to leave at noon. I ended up staying home Wednesday with Jessica and Ava to get rest. It felt like I had an ear infection but luckily I had an unopened pack of antibiotics from my Mom’s last trip to Mexico, so I started taking them immediately and I’m doing fine now. Being sick is no fun but Wednesday was Jessica’s day off so it was nice to have a day at home with her. With our opposite schedules we don’t get days off together very often, so we ended up watching movies and napping all day. It was perfect.

Today I had a really intense jiu–jitsu class and came home exhausted. As a Dodger fan I’m very excited about the big trade today that got us Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Jessica’s friend Nick Punto. World Series baby! I’m getting ready to begin a freelance web design project for a Mexican restaurant in Des Moines, WA thanks to my Uncle Jim. I haven’t done any freelance work in a few months so I’m looking forward to it. Jessica is about to go to work now so it’s time to get back to some homework. Here’s Ava’s 9 month pic plus a couple others.

Ava turns 9 months!

Screaming for the camera

A very busy Saturday

I was on the road at 6:45 this morning, first to pick up my buddie Donnie up in Oceanside, then continuing on to the original Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. Torrance is south L.A. county, and it wouldn’t be a trip to L.A. without a traffic jam, but more on that later. It was smooth sailing on the way up there so we had plenty of time to pickup part of the order I had placed on Monday, get ready for class, and tour the jiu–jitsu museum. The memorabilia they have in their museum was impressive to say the least. Original sketches of the UFC octagon (created by Rorion Gracie), Renzo Gracie’s signed gloves from Pride 17 in Japan, and best of all, the Gi (Kimono) worn by Helio Gracie in the super famous match with Masahiko Kimura in 1951. My new Gracie t–shirt is a vintage styled ad for that match so seeing the actual Gi he wore was awesome. The grappling dummy I ordered won’t be ready for at least a month so we’ll be going back up there sometime in the fall to complete my order.

Class was a lot of fun, mostly because it was taught by Ralek Gracie and a few other guys we recognize from all the youtube videos. Getting to meet all these people in person was really cool, especially since everyone we met couldn’t have been nicer. Ralek stuck around to take a picture with us after class, and we even got to meet his brother Rener Gracie, one of the school’s head instructors, on the way out. I now have two 5’x10’x2″ grappling mats to practice on at home, so hopefully this means I can show Jessica a few techniques.

The plan when leaving was to drop Donnie off in Oceanside and be home in La Mesa by 2:15 at the latest. Going up there took less than two hours, so I assumed giving myself 2.5 hours to get home would be more than enough, but of course we were in L.A., so that means we were due for a traffic jam. This one turned out to be one of the worst I’ve ever endured. It took us 2 hours to go about 30 miles on the 405 where it merges with the 5 south, which meant Jessica had to take Ava to work with her and I had to meet them in La Jolla after dropping Donnie off. While texting back and forth with Jessica about the traffic she told me that her Grandma Sherry had a heart attack today. She and Larry were already at the hospital when it happened because of some symptoms she was feeling this morning, so she was cared for immediately, and is doing better now I’m told. Jessica didn’t have time to tell me the whole story because she had to get ready for work so this is all I know at this point. Our thoughts are certainly with her and wish her the very best.

To cap off this busy day I purchased a Mac Pro desktop computer. I found a used one on Amazon with good starting specifications, then purchased a few upgrades and ended up with a very impressive system for considerably less money than buying a new iMac (with poorer specs) would cost. With Jessica studying design and spending more time on the computer, our single laptop was no longer cutting it. We’ve been talking about getting another computer for a while so I’m glad we finally pulled the trigger and got a good deal while doing so.

Since today was so busy, I’m looking forward to not leaving the house all day tomorrow. Hopefully we can get a positive update on Sherry’s status. I’m done with school until next Sunday so I’m ready for a little down time. Next weekend all of our Vegas friends are coming out for a couple days so that should be super fun, then we’ll be heading to Vegas a couple weeks later for Shawn and Kim’s wedding. Joel and Melanie will be coming out to visit around the end of September, then we’re going back to Vegas in late October for Devin and Eve’s wedding. By the time that’s over Ava’s first birthday will be just around the corner! It’s all happening so fast.

Our happy little girl

Donnie and I with Ralek Gracie
Donnie and I after class with Ralek Gracie

The perfect summer day

I’m writing this post from our front patio on a gorgeous 90 degree Wednesday afternoon. Obviously I’m not normally home on Wednesday afternoons but today was a half–day at work because my company is doing their annual office trip to the Del Mar horse races. I’ve had several experiences at the Del Mar track, most recently the spreading of Woody’s ashes, so I decided to pass on that and spend time with my family (and do some jiu–jitsu) instead. As I write this Ava is happy as can be in her new swing. Jessica has been talking about getting her a swing since we moved in here because there’s a perfect place for one on the front patio. Yesterday she decided to go get one and Ava absolutely loves it!

I left work and went to my 11:00 jiu–jitsu class this morning, then Jessica dropped Ava off at my school at 11:50 so she could go to her noon Yoga class just down the street. I’m not sure what’s on the docket for the rest of the day but it’s got to include a dog walk considering what a nice day it is. I’m going back to jiu–jitsu tonight at 7:00, mostly so that I can receive my third stripe on my white belt at the end of Friday’s class. Then, on Saturday morning, my friend Donnie and I are driving up to Torrance, CA to do a class at the original Gracie Academy. While up there I’ll be picking up part of my order that I placed the other day. After selling my big fancy guitar amplifier that I no longer get any use out of I decided to buy two 5’x10′ Gracie Jiu–Jitsu mats, a t–shirt, patches for my current Gi, a new Pearl Weave Gracie Jiu–Jitsu Gi, and an official ‘Bubba Gracie’ grappling dummy to practice at home with. This might sound a little crazy, or maybe a lot crazy, but it’s my favorite thing to do and it’s a great workout so I justify it. I won’t be able to pick up Bubba this weekend because they have to be custom made per order but that gives me an excuse to go back up to Torrance for another class in the next 4 to 6 weeks when it’s ready.

Summer is finally in full effect here in San Diego. It certainly hasn’t been bad lately, just not typical summer weather. This being our third summer in San Diego, I now expect the whole May gray / June gloom thing to last through most of July as well, but once it’s gone you’re left with the most perfect weather you can possibly imagine all the way to November, which is definitely one of our favorite things about living here. I’ve recently taken on a new challenge, since I’m not busy enough as it is, to learn to speak Portuguese. My manager Dylan is from Rio so I ask him for new Portuguese words every day. I also started doing Rosetta Stone Portuguese this week and love it! The plan is to get fluent in Portuguese over the next 4 years and then go to the Summer 2016 Olympics in Brazil. We’ve been enjoying this year’s Olympics so much that we’ve crafted a plan to attend the next one. We’re both super excited about the plan and it shouldn’t be too hard to execute since we have 4 years to work things out. In the meantime things couldn’t be any better. Enjoy the latest pics!

Ava in her new swing
Loving her new swing

Bruno doing what he does best