The Williamsons

The Williamsons

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Alice's First Birthday

I'm going a bit out of order here--there's another post coming about our trip to NYC, but I still have to get the photos off R's phone.

Alice had a very fun extended birthday! On Thursday (her birthday), Ryan had to work until 8:00, so we didn't plan any festivities for the day. But Alice was still awake when Ryan got home, so we broke out a few little gifts.

On Friday she opened the rest of the gifts, and on Saturday we had her party. She really enjoyed all aspects of her birthday (well, except for when I had to wake her up because our friends were here for the party).

Perhaps every mother has thought this, but on Alice's birthday, I thought, "Wait a minute . . . Alice gets all these presents and the day is all about her. But what about me? Shouldn't we celebrate that I carried her for 9 months and then I went through a bunch of hurts to get her into this world? And then I had to recover for weeks? And then my body fed her for a year. And there were/are so many sleepless nights . . . Birthdays should be for mommas. Celebrate that Momma made it." But, birthdays are not for mommas. Mom, next birthday, know that I'm thinking of you.

Anyway, the main point is that we have a one-year-old! How did that happen? On her birthday, we looked back at pictures of her REAL birthday, you know, her birth day. She was so small and helpless. And she slept so much and didn't get into anything. Or do anything for that matter. My, what changes we've seen in 365 days. We love being parents.

Videos links:
Playing with her new maracas
Opening her dishes
Practicing MOO
Cake 1
Cake 2

Alice's friend came over on her birthday. She loved showing him her toys.

Then she just kinda followed him around the rest of the time.

Obsessing over him . . . 

Doing her endearing forehead bump to him . . .

Turns out he likes markers too!

One more forehead bump. She may have knocked him over, but he took it like a champ.

They got this crazy idea to do a performance for me.
"You play, and I'll lead, okay?"
"K, but first let me find my music."

"Alright, there it is, I'm ready."
It was very cute.

When Daddy got home from work, we opened a few presents.
She loved these maracas so much that she didn't really care about anything else. 

Selfie attempt with the 1 year, 1 day old girl (and a 35 mm lens . . .)

That's better.

Picking out another book.

Good choice--we always hoped she'd be the outdoorsy type.

She opened most of her presents the day after her birthday.
She demonstrated great skill at ripping the paper off and finding the contents.

She really obsessed over the dishes from Grandpa Scott and Grandma Ann, just as we suspected she would.

Mom and Dad got her a school bus from a big toy store in NYC.

Swimming in clothes from Grandma Lori and Grandpa Luke

This is an awesome book with animals and mirrors. She loves it!

Nothing's quite as fun as toy vegetables . . .

"What's this? You cleaned up my dishes and put
them on the chair in a very orderly manner?"
"Let me fix that."

"You're welcome."

The haul. It was too much work to try and set it up nice for a picture because she kept getting into everything. She seriously loved it all, and stayed up later than normal that night because she was just having fun playing by herself.

 The Birthday Party

We invited some friends to come over for dinner and cupcakes. We all had a great time together! The weather was perfect, so we ate out in the backyard. Then we went inside so the babies could play and then we had cupcakes.

Taco salad dinner

I was really excited to try out some fancy cupcake recipes. They were actually pretty delicious if I may say so myself! These were peanut butter chocolate swirl cupcakes. 

Lemon Poppyseed Tart cupcakes

Alice was a bit grumpy since she had just woken up.
We went outside to eat, and she just stood there for about 2 minutes while we tried desperately to get a smile out of her.
It was the longest she's ever stood!

Showing her buddies the new toys

D thought the dish sponge was pretty hilarious.

Happy family!
 The cupcake . . . she wouldn't let us take a picture of her with it before she dove on in.

At first she ripped off dainty little bites.

It didn't take long for her to get into it, though. We loved how she was licking her lips over and over again.

After she'd had a go at it, we passed out cupcakes to everyone else. Mom got one bite of her lemon cupcake, and then Alice commandeered it.

Victory smile

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa.

After Ryan finished his first board exams, we took a day off and then headed to the Midwest. We had an excellent week in Iowa. We got to spend time with lots of family, and we also got to spend lots of time doing some outdoorsy things on our own. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful time of year--the weather was perfect and all the trees were blossoming.

Alice was really good for the drive, and she loved the change of scenery. She also loved playing with Aunt Maysen, who was really good at taking care of her.

Here are some photos of our trip.

Our Outdoor Adventures

One morning we hiked 8-10 miles near Lake MacBride. It was so lovely!
Alice loves riding in the hiking backpack. There is so much to see from that perspective.

Toward the end it was getting warmer than we'd planned on, so we unzipped her a bit.
And she did get sick of the backpack after a while . . .

Ryan's alien shadow with a little hand popping out

Some very photogenic geese in a beautiful environment

We took our bikes on the trip to Iowa. We figured it was our vacation, so it was time for us to fix up our bikes for the summer season. We also installed the bike seat we had purchased just before our trip (we purchased much of it with Aunt Missy's gift money--thank you!!!). The seat is not Alice's favorite thing yet. Mostly she doesn't like having to wear a helmet.
Trying out the seat

Grandma Lori watched Alice one morning while Ryan and I went on a 32-mile bike ride. Our backsides were a bit sore at the end, but we made it! And of course we deserved some Culver's cheese curds and custard afterward.

Lookie at what we found! It's like Alice was with us for the ride afterall.
There's a great (straight, very long) trail out of Hiawatha.
We could have gone 100 miles, but we just weren't feeling it that day.


Alice and Shadow quickly became buddies. At her very first meal in this chair, Alice learned how much fun it is to feed her food to a dog. At first it was cute, but, you know, baby's gotta eat too.

Alice loved Aunt Maysen's castle (refrigerator boxes) in the basement. It was such a great place to play! In this photo she shows her affinity for all things yellow. We seriously have noticed her preference for yellow things, though it has tamed down a bit.

The best part of the castle was the kitchen set inside. Any time we were downstairs, Alice would scurry over to the castle, dump the basket of food and dishes, and play with them. 

Notice the spoon in her hand. She was always carrying a spoon or fork around from the kitchen set. Actually, I just noticed the proof of that statement--in all of the 4 pictures above, she has a spoon in her hand.

3-D art

Time with Family

Alice loves her Aunt May May! We got to share Maysen's birthday, as well--this was taken on the morning of her birthday.
I did a braid in her hair for the special day. 

Grandma Turner

Alice was usually fine with others until her mom walked into the room. Gotta love these faces!

The whole crew, plus an unexpected photobomber! Haha. What a "righteous" family?

It's hard to get a photo with a little girl who just wants to escape!

New distraction. She may have eaten some.
Alice was done with photos by the time Grandma Lori came out.

Des Moines

We visited Des Moines for a day, as usual. We saw Ryan's grandparents, Ann's family, and Aunt Kris and her family (unfortunately I didn't have photos with Aunt Kris at the time of posting this).

The Cunningham crew

Great Grandma and Grandpa Williamson

Thanks to everyone for making room for our visit! 'Til next time . . .