Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Climb Every Mountain (baby Alice style)

My parents have stairs in their house.  Yesterday we hung out with those stairs, when Alice and I were over to help my mom with her cookie business.  At first Alice was needy and confused, since my attention for her was divided between cookies and baby.  Soon, though, she become comfortable enough to explore the grounds, and was crawling everywhere.  She had been patting around for awhile, when we looked up to see this:

She was climbing the stairs and had absolutely no fear!  I stood behind her and let her climb, just to see how far she could get.  She got to the landing and was ready to round the corner to the second set of stairs... sadly, for Alice, the second set did not get to be climbed (due to a mother's fear and not to a baby's).

Today Alice is pulling up on everything.  I suppose the stairs inspired her.  I am so grateful we don't have stairs, or my job would be a lot harder now!

I love this little crazy baby.
"I came, I saw, I conquered."  -Baby Alice

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How we met: Part 1

Jenny and I on campus

No, not how I met Jenny.  I've decided to begin a series on my life, starting with how Caleb and I met.  They might not be short posts (yeah, probably not), so if you don't have the patience to read someone else's lovey dovey story, I guess I'll understand.  But you should probably read it, 'cause we're adorable.  

When I was in high school I was genuinely scared of guys.  Not scared of the male sex, but guys of the high school variety.  These guys stared, they could say awkward things at any given second, and they laughed at anything you said.  I strove to overcome my fear and perhaps be forgiving of the hormones that surrounded me (male and female alike... not to mention my own), but it was quite a tiring effort.  Since I was brought into this very world, I dreamed of being a wife and mom with hundreds of children.  I did not want to mess around with this dream and end up with some weirdo.  But at this point, boys were weird, boys were scary.  Why do we even mess with guy-girl relationships of any kind in high school?  A question I cannot answer now and certainly could not answer then.  I went through high school without a twitch of attraction to anyone, and I was proud of it.  I sound like a snot (and I probably was), but I honestly couldn't figure out why these girls were dating such confusing people.  By my senior year, I had somewhat learned how to communicate with guys without wanting to walk away and/or cry.  

All that to say, I went off to college with a healthy fear of guys.  The college guys were quite similar to the high school ones, except they had learned to exude confidence and many of them had learned how to be more forward.  All of us had made it out of high school, and now our hormones weren't surrounding us like a sparkling cloud of smoke.  In some ways, there was more reason to be scared.  But I was a big girl, and I made myself speak to the boy-guy-man-dudes, and even found myself friends with a few (...because guys and girls can be friends... no).

One summer day in August - the start of my sophomore year - the sister, Jenny, and I headed to a local coffee shop to play Mancala and sip iced coffee while we got excited about another year of classes (I was actually only excited about new notebooks and fresh pencils).  As we laughed, talked, and made fun of each other's Mancala moves, a young man walked up to the counter near us and ordered a drink.  He was glancing over at us -- a normal college behavior.  We continued playing.  In my peripheral, I saw a blue shirt approaching us -- the same young man at the counter arrived at our table, and asked, "Are you all Stewart's sisters?"  He had a friendly voice.  We told him "yes," and asked how he knew our brother.  We started to talk, when something very strange happened.  I found myself pulling my purse off of the third seat at our table, and asked him to sit down.  It was highly out of character, but this guy was so nice.  He might have been cute, but I wasn't about to rush such a crazy notion.  But his voice was deep.  And he made eye contact.  He made eye contact using brown eyes.  He didn't interrupt us.  He didn't even lean in and act like he had some kind of creepy expectations.  He talked without the slightest bit of secret intention.  As we talked, we learned that his name was Caleb, this was his first year, and that he thought the freshman orientation class he was participating in was pointless and weird.  When people think things are pointless, my ears perk up.  It means they think, they have an opinion, and they call it like it is.  This guy thought something was pointless... that's awesome. Caleb was at the coffee shop in order to meet a guy-dude-man named Sean (spoiler alert! Sean would later be a groomsman in Caleb's wedding... but who would Caleb marry??).  We happened to know Sean as well, and soon found out that we had many mutual friends, had both home-schooled, and had even attended the same church when we were young.  We were off to a terrible start in getting to know one another.

Lie.  It was a dreamy start.

To be continued.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pretty Hair: for you or your little one

As you might have read from my last post, my sister-in-law and sweet nieces are in town.  Last week I was playing with Lydia's hair (she says she loves her hair to be played with... a girl after my own heart).  Here's how one little hair-do came out and it looks so sweet on her little head!

The twist could have stood to be a little tighter, but little girls don't always stand still.  If my hair were longer, I would try it out in a heartbeat (and if Alice's hair were longer... haha).
Here's how you do it (in case you haven't figured it out):
- starting on one side of your head, take a piece of hair next to your ear, and twist slightly
- take the next lock of hair (behind the piece you just twisted) and adjoin by twisting it gently into your already twisted lock
- take another lock of hair (just as you did in the previous step) and twist together, making your way across your head
- when you get the end, curve/twirl/roll into a bun and secure with bobby pins

It didn't take too much jumping, skipping, and monkey-dancing before Lydia's hair fell out, so maybe a few more bobby pins (and hairspray?) would have helped.  She has lovely wavy hair, too, so I'm sure that helps in keeping it in place.

Did you know that every other year I decide I MUST grow my hair out?  This is that year.  I had a dream that I grew it out, and in that dream I felt so feminine.  After I grow it out, I'll start hating it and I'll cut it off.  This is the way of life.

And, since you missed out on Lyd's cute face, here you go:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Alice Writes Again: 10 Months Old

Good morning!  I'm 10 months old this month, and I'm here to share all of my baby secrets, as well as way too many photos of myself.

To start, I like a lot of things.  In fact, I like most things since, after all, I am a baby.

                                                      I like cheese. Yes, even blue cheese.

I like crazy smiles.

I like making up new words whenever I'm not too tired.

I love reading books, having them read to me, and tearing pages.

Mama's jewelry makes the best toy, hands down.

I'm love observing and thinking about all kinds of things.

I also love songs.  When people laugh, I think it's funny.  When babies cry, I think that's funny, too.  I like waving when there is a silent moment to fill.  When I wake up from my nap, I like to pull myself up and either say, "Dadadadada" or "Mamamama" or I just cry.  

Now, some things I don't like are when I'm crawling around and I find a little treasure and mom takes it away.  It tastes so good, I feel so great about finding something special, and she just takes it.  I don't really understand that, but mom says that someday when I'm not a baby I'll understand.  When it comes down to it, there's a whole lot that I DO understand, so it's okay to be confused about one thing.  I do not like people holding my hand... never have, never will.  Getting into my car seat is also pretty terrible, but once I'm all buckled in, it's a great ride.  

 I'm gonna hand it over to my mom from here.  Thanks for reading and looking at all of my pictures!

Here are some things Alice is saying/trying to say:
Saying: Mama, Dada
Trying to say: Hi (sounds like "I"), more (sounds like "bo"), no (sounds like oooh), Moo (like the cow -- sounds like a humming "mmmm"), all done (sounds like aaaah daaaah)

I feel like every day there is a new side of Alice that shines through -- it is so much fun getting to know her and getting to kiss her all.the.time.  Some days are hard, but most days that she crawls by my feet or I hear her squeal from another room, I am reminded of my many days of longing for such constant baby-companionship.   She's with me ALL DAY LONG!! I never have to say good bye, and why would I want to?  Keep being adorable, sweet babes! 

It's so impossibly hard to believe that 1 year old is two short months away! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Alice Learns to Read

Alice has been crawling everywhere.  Currently, the crawling and getting into things is still adorable and hasn't reached the "when will this end" stage.  Here's what she found today.

Books and a bookmark from mom and dad's bookshelf... so much better than her own bookshelf.

P.S.  Alice will be posting her 10-month-old update soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Alice continues to be cute (and family comes to town)

I'm here, I'm alive, it's been awhile.

This past week was quite the refresher, since sister Jenny and her hubby Eric came in from Virginia/D.C./you-know AND the sister-in-law and two sweet nieces were in town as well!  Caleb and I considered it a "stay-cation" (I kind of hate that term) and, though our week was slightly crazy with driving all over the place/spending the night at my parents' in the middle of the week, it was seriously a wonderful break from the norm.  Here are some highlights...

Lydia got to hold Baby Alice (she loved doing this, even though -- due to Alice's growth in fatness since their last visit -- Lydia can hardly hold Alice up).

And my parents threw their usually-annual 4th of July party... which is and was a blast! (<-- pun)

Alice thought two-flaggin' it was as good as it got.  She also loves Emily.

She also loves Jennifer buuuut at this point in the evening Alice was asleep, so she didn't get to remember how much she loves Jennifer.  (Note: this is Jennifer's attempt at "Smile like you're in Europe" smile.  I don't know if it worked)

If you are wondering, little Pickle slept through the giant fireworks show without a peep (special treat for Caleb and I!).

And then we just hung out.   And little Sophia (I still want to call her "Baby Soph") played "Wheel on da Bus" on Uncle Eric's phone 80% of the time.  It's an addicting game, let me tell you.

Other highlights:
-Alice is crawling (more to come on that).
-My sister got engaged!! The one who actually lives in Oklahoma.  "We need pictures, Julie!"  Oh, as it turns out, I am a terrible sister.  I was sifting through my pictures from the week and have NONE of sister and fiance.  I will fix that.
-My nieces are still in town and I can't wait to hang out with them some more.
-Summer tans are pretty nice.
-Favorite Lydia quote:
(Scenario: Lydia is jumping into the pool and her mom/Molly is trying to get her to close her mouth before jumping in to avoid water-swallowing)
Molly: Okay, close your mouth, don't smile, go!
Lydia: (jumps in, comes back up, and in a pitiful voice) Why can't I smiiiiile?

Because you shouldn't be happy, Lydia.  That's why.

I can't wait until Alice can talk.