The Williamsons

The Williamsons

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Two Months

Alice is two months old tomorrow. This week I met two friends' newborn babies and realized how much Alice has changed and grown in such a short time. Her 2-month checkup is this week--we look forward to getting the latest stats! This last week the 3-month clothes, which have been tight for a while, officially stopped fitting. It was time for a change of wardrobe anyway! (Just kidding--I've been wearing many of the same clothes since high school, so the great variety of clothing that babies experience is quite foreign to me.)

Alice has been talking even more, and over the past few days she's flashed more smiles. We love it! They are hard to capture, but I'm sure there will be many more to come.

Grandma Lori sent a whole bunch of interchangeable clothes one size up. Perfect timing!

Baby overalls and bumblebees :)

As she hung out in the swing, her headband worked its way down her face. My favorite was when it was over her eyes, but I didn't get a picture of that.

She fell asleep sitting up in my lap. I successfully transferred her to the swing.

It's really hard to get "selfies" with the Nikon, but I managed a few.

Well, I had this one turned, but when I uploaded it unturned. Here's a little [sideways] smile.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

8 Weeks and a Whiskey Rebellion

Me, Alice, and some rebels

Or should I say THE Whiskey Rebellion (1791-94). Basically, it was a rebellion against a tax--U.S. citizens rebelling against the new national government. It was a deciding event in the history of the U.S. Google it or see Wikipedia for more info. Anyway, it was a big deal, and it happened right here in Western Pennsylvania. We drove about 45 minutes to Washington, PA, to an annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival. It was lots of fun!

Washington is a smaller town, so the festival wasn't really busy, but very well put together. There was live bluegrass music, farmers markety type things like crafts and plants, mountain men goods--furs, knives, etc. (the 10-year-old me would have been in heaven), fair foods, free activities for kids, and fireworks, though we didn't stay that late. We also got a free walk through of two historic homes, and if we'd had more time, we could have toured the historic courthouse there. Many of the day's activities were put on by the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society. The people dress up and look the part. Throughout the day there were reenactments of various events that had happened there in Washington. These were the highlights for us!

We got there in the early afternoon and learned that at 3:00 a gun battle would be reenacted at Washington Park. There was a bus shuttling people to it, but it was too full for us with the stroller. We asked the bus driver how to get to the park and how far it was. It was about a mile to the park, so in true Kendra and Ryan fashion, we walked.

A mile to the park, yes, but the battle site was another mile once you were in the park. Uphill, of course. We decided it was a noble effort to try and lose all the baby weight in one day (oh, by the way, I had run for 40 minutes that morning--the longest in MONTHS).

We powerwalked the whole thing and arrived, nice and sweaty, just 10 minutes after the battle had begun. Muskets and canons were firing, and it was very exciting. Not quite the pace of a modern battle, mind you. And this wasn't really a battle--more of a skirmish that was fairly typical of the rebellion. It wasn't until 1794 when Washington (the president) came in with over 100 troops and quelled the rebellion. Anyway, here are some "shots":
The rebels shooting

The federals fight back

The rebels shoot more, including a canon

After the battle (rebels "won," meaning they captured a federal prisoner and the other feds left)

Me and Alice with the rebels' fort behind us

After resting in the park, reading a bit, feeding Alice, and changing her twice, we took the bus back to Main Street for the next event--the tarring and feathering!

The day's MC announces what's coming

They bring out the federal prisoner that had been captured at Washington Fort in the battle

But they just punch him and let him go

Then they bring out the TAX COLLECTOR

They rip off his shirt

And tell him how much they hate tax collectors and how he will be the example for how the farmers will treat future tax collectors

And then he dumps a bucket of "tar" on him.

Next come the feathers, of course.

Poor guy.
As a member of the audience, I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to feel about this whole thing. The rebels, who clearly have the upper hand in this scene, are naturally inciting the public to side with them. But I actually don't really support tarring and feathering. And, with the hindsight that I'm fortunate to have, what if I prefer to side with the overall winners (the US government), and not the rebels? Perhaps I thought too much about it. But I didn't cheer and laugh at the tax collector like the public was supposed to.

To make a long story short, we enjoyed ourselves very much at the Whiskey Rebellion Festival. Now for what you really want to hear about:

Alice--who is 8 weeks today--is doing quite well. I now sometimes call her my little puppy because she likes to lick. Sometimes after I've been holding her, I realize that I have a big wet spot on my shirt where she's been licking me. For the last few days she's been more able to find her hand on her own, so that's a nice thing for her to lick.

She talks a lot more. Her favorite words are ah, aaaahhhhh, and Aflac. (I don't know where she picked that last one up, because we never watch tv.) She smiles a bit more, especially when we play with her, but it's really hard to capture the smiles on camera. She also is starting to notice some of her toys, and may even be trying to interact with them, though we may be misinterpreting her flailing arms. Her favorite toys are the soft frog from Grandma Ann, the ultra-interactive butterfly from Aunt Evie, and the huggable monster from Grandma Lori. I'm so glad to know we'll never have to buy her toys. Thanks, family.

Last weekend, I was frightened into thinking that my nights of waking up every 3-4 hours were over. I would miss that aspect of parenthood to much. For two nights in a row, Alice slept for 6.5 or 7 hours straight. And I slept like a bear in hibernation (until she let out a one-syllable yelp to say "feeeeeeed me!!!"). But, anyway, I am no longer fearful of losing my 3-4 hour sleep interval, because we're back to it once more. Though last night it was more like 2-hours, which was just great, let me tell you. Good thing I fare well on less sleep than most people, and I sometimes take naps during the day.

One more thing is that Alice seems to despise tummy time. Her doctor said to do 20 minutes per day. Of course, we should do it while she's happy, but unfortunately tummy time destroys her good spirits. This is not motivating for us to do tummy time. Usually we do it for about 1 minute at a time until the cries are unbearable or she starts banging her face on the floor. Poor Alice.

Well, here are a few more photos:
Only a few times have I successfully transferred sleeping Alice from my comfy lap to a lap-shaped boppy pillow.

"Why, yes, I know I'm adorable, and that's why I fall asleep at the dinner table with my hand on my face."

Mmmmm! Yummy hand! Lick, lick, lick.

lick, lick, lick

Gotta hang onto that pacifier

Our little angel (because she's not crying)

Now, there's a lovable face. And her tongue does cool things, too!

Great timing, mom! Unfortunately, this has been happening more and more.

Well, if you won't do tummy time, let's do assisted sitting time. She looks so old when she sits!

'Til next time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Visitors for the 4th and Alice's Baby Blessing

I mentioned last post that some of Ryan's family came into town. We had a good time together, and I'm happy Alice got to meet all of them.

Maysen is Alice's 5-year-old aunt, and she loved holding Alice. She has so much patience and would probably sit there with Alice on her lap for an hour if Alice let her. She also was very patient with the bird, Houdini. She would stand still by him for 20-30 minutes until he would fly to her shoulder.

Aunt May
Houdini loves Maysen!
An art project for a Sunday afternoon.
Grandma Lori was also so helpful holding Alice lots during the day.

We went to the Children's Museum on one of the first days they were here:

We also went to a Pirate's game! I'm not really into baseball, but really enjoyed the atmosphere, perfect weather, and beautiful view. I felt so American.
PNC Park

Crossing the river on our way to the stadium

Looking back across the river

Nice view, eh?

Alice is cheering on the Pirates

Either Pittsburgh is a beautiful city, or I'm just an amazing photographer.

On the Fourth of July, we went downtown to the festival, but it was so insanely crowded that there was no fun to be had there. We escaped to Market Square for dinner and then went up to West End to see the fireworks from that perspective. We were glad we did, and it turned out to be a fun evening.
Dinner in Market Square

After the fireworks

On Sunday at church, Ryan performed Alice's baby blessing. It was lovely, and she behaved well. At least, she wasn't crying! She's been doing that a lot lately, so we were a bit worried. That afternoon I struggled getting her calm enough for a photo.

"I really don't want to do this right now."

"Okay, well, you finally gave me something I like."

"And apparently I didn't even realize that you took it out."

"Oh wait, I realize it's gone. I want it back!"

We are grateful for all our supportive family and that we got to share our little Alice with a few of them! Thanks for coming, Lori, Luke, May, and Lue.