Well, more than one person has complained that there aren’t anywhere near enough pictures of our grandbaby, Avila.  So, I aim to please!  I’ll update this page periodically and put newer pix on top.  So if you want to watch her “grow” you’ll want to scroll down to the bottom and go “up” from there. Or if you’re just checking for the latest, start here at the top.

The artist at work (Aug)

Concentrating on her building (Aug)









Hmmm… I’m being beaten by technology and not having success “inserting” some pictures earlier in the sequence here.  SO a couple here “up top” that are a few months out of order.  Oh well.

Her favorite tea cozy "hat"

Talking to the elephant (April)

Shopping at Ikea with Grandma (August)

Yay for the big bag o' blocks (Sep)

Playing at the Little Gym

Lovin' those red cowboy boots!

Our own Easter Bunny!

Ready to start gardening (May)

Hangin' in the back yard with her Poppy (June)

April, one year old, walking everywhere


Avila hangin' with her pal, Big Bear.

She's standing tall these days.



Beary Happy Baby

Pink Patagonia Girl














What can I say — is she just too cute for words?  The pix above are very recent ones (late November 2011) and as you can see, she’s a happy little thing.  I’m sure there must be times when she’s not cute, but I think they must be in the minority.  How can you not be cute when you’re just so darn happy!  ;-)


While Avila won’t remember any of her first Halloween, we definitely had treats, not tricks.  The pumpkin girl and pumpkin dog were a gigantic hit with the neighborhood kids.

LuLu petting the BooBoo... two pumpkins wondering what the hell they're doing in these crazy costumes...

Grandma and Grandpoppy had a great time helping Jen hand out treats. This was good old-fashioned trick-or-treating — the kids were in creative, home-made costumes, the parents were with them, lurking out on the sidewalk, to a one they all said thank-you, and most (somewhat to our surprise) all said “I like your dog” and even refused to leave until they’d reached over the gate and petted the scary big black dog.  (Okay, it’s hard to be that scary wearing a pumpkin costume, but even after the costume came off he seemed to be an unusually big “hit” with the neighborhood kids.) Go figure.

Trick-or-treating with Grandma and Grandpoppy (and Gibson the wonder-pumpkin)

Other than Halloween, the little LuLu just keeps being too cute for words.  She’s eating solid food now and we experimented with spinach while we were there. She seemed to like it okay, but Grandma proved to be a not-terribly-neat feeder.

We also were able to enjoy seeing Avila in the little dress we’d brought her from Costa Rica.  It’s in the “traditional” style and is probably meant to be a “summer dress” but it worked fine over tights and a long-sleeved shirt.

As Jen aptly called her, the "Tica Chica" -- wearing a traditional dress from Costa Rica.


We figure, come summer-time, it will still fit fine just as a sundress.  There’s also the issue of trying to take pictures of the darling grandbaby while grandma is holding her. Well, you know what, grandma simply isn’t as photogenic as she once was so those pictures tend not to come out so well. Oh, heck, who are we fooling — grandma was never photogenic — even in her youngest, sleekest youth. (What can I say — I’m one of those who always ends up in photos eating or talking and doing something crazy with my mouth, and now that I’m plumpish I seem to have an alarming set of double-chins — what’s up with that?!?)

But we did manage to catch the little purple girl looking cute as always with grandma looking not too scary, so that’s been a good picture to have….

Grandma and the purple girl

Also, although Avila seemed destined to be a pumpkin since, I don’t know… before birth?… somewhere along the way Jen came across the Sweet-Pea outfit, which seems especially fitting since I’ve always called Jen, herself, Sweet-Pea.  In that “thing” that parents simply can’t stop themselves from doing (oh, and yes, we grandparents are full accomplices in), Jen dressed Avila in the Sweet-Pea outfit solely so that we could enjoy it and take pictures.  Oh my, what children put up with. It’s a good thing that they don’t remember what they were subjected to at 6 months of age.  ;-)

She didn't seem to mind being a sweet-pea!







Halloween tutu... Too too cute is more like it.


Avila lounging on the couch...


Have you seen my slippers?!? (Oct 2011)

I'm a big girl now! (Oct 2011)

Our little pumpkin girl, October 2011

Pretty in Pink

Cloud watching with her buddy Emma. Sept 2011

Smiley girl in the bumbo, August 2011

She loves to sit in the grass. Summer 2011


What a silly face! June 2011

Snoozing with Mama.... ahh, those blissful moments of quiet

Avila in "Flower Power" mode, June 2011

Three generations. Still hoping to get all four, with my mom too, once we get to SLC.

Grandpoppy and Avila, May 2011

Avila at 4 days old. Looking peaceful.

Proud papa! Larry holding the newborn Avila at the hospital. She didn't really think too much of her first bath.

Avila Marie Ostroski, born 19 April 2011

5 Responses to Avila

  1. Arnold Penuel says:

    Dear Arden & David,
    I read your blog with much interest. Congratulations on the arrival of Avila; she’s a doll! Best of luck selling your house and with your move to Salt Lake City.

    Please give your mother a hug for Patty and me.


    • arden says:

      Hi, Arnold and Patty,

      Nice to “see” you here! Avila is, indeed, a doll and we’d just never imagined what an impact on us she would have. It’s also interesting that it’s really made us re-think being so far away from the kids, in general, so while there are many things about Costa Rica we’ll miss, we’ll starting to really look forward to getting back. It’s been a great 5-years, now time for some new adventures! Just passed your *hug* along to mom and while I don’t think she “literally’ remembers folks, she does remember the “feeling” of having friends pass along their hellos and hugs, so that’s worthwhile. And one of the [many] good things about the move is that she absolutely ADORES babies and small children, so even if she doesn’t really know who she is, she will LOVE having Avila around.

      Look forward to staying in touch and who knows, maybe your travels will find you in SLC someday!


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  3. Gloria Webster says:

    Your pictures of Avila help to explain how it is that you must move to SLC. They’re simply captivating. Give Phyl a hug for us. Hi to David, too.

    Bill & Gloria

    • arden says:

      Yes, it was funny — we were looking forward to Avila’s arrival, of course, but really just couldn’t imagine the depth of impact she would have on us. And not just *her* but really making us re-evaluate the whole reality of being so far from our kids in general. We’d taken it sort-of for granted as “normal” — they’d moved cross-country long before we’d ever even thought of moving to Costa Rica — and seemed in some ways like you’ve done your parenting job well, right? I mean, they’re healthy, independent people who have struck out on their own! ;-) But we’re really looking forward to being part of the kids’ lives again on a deeper level, too. So while Avila was the initial driving force (and WHO could resist that huge smile of hers?!?) we’re appreciating knowing that we won’t be “once a year” parents anymore, either.

      Sending big hugs back your way!


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