The Williamsons

The Williamsons

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January: Back to Life, Back to Reality



Well, school has started again, and we're starting to get into our new routine for this semester. So far things are going well!

Lately we've really been trying to take advantage of our free museum passes, which is part of our student IDs. Alice enjoys these outings more now that she's a bit older, and we enjoy them as well. We are really lucky to live in a place with so many fun, family-friendly places to go in the winter.

Alice is getting more and more of a personality. She's a pretty happy girl, especially now that three of her incisor teeth have finally poked through. I hypothesize that these have been causing her some grief on and off for the last few months. We are excited to have more teeth to floss between! I'm kind of joking, kind of not . . . she thinks flossing is cool because Mommy and Daddy do it, so sometimes it's a reward for her letting us brush her teeth.

Going along with the mouth topic (because who doesn't want to hear all about an almost-2-year-old's mouth), Alice has been talking a lot lately! I know I say that every time, but she really just keeps saying more and more. Today I was counting cups of flour for bread dough, and she said "two, three" before I did. It took her yelling "BLAST OFF!!!" before I realized, "Hey, she just counted!"

Another funny thing is that she owns this annoying book that has kids songs in it, but with Mickey Mouse and Crew themes (Daisy, Donald Duck, etc.). She loves it because it has "E-I-E-I-O" in it (What she calls "Old McDonald Had a Farm"). She also has a stuffed Minnie Mouse that she had never even liked before, but now she's made the connection between Minnie and that Book, so she loves Minnie Mouse and calls her "E-I-E-I-O."

One thing we love about Alice is how sweet and kind she is. She gets so excited to see us when we come home, and she often just randomly comes up to us and gives us hugs. I especially love that she is so attached to Ryan and that she gets to spend so much time with him. They have a really good relationship, which would be more difficult to form if he were away all day every day.

For pictures, first we have the rest of the Hawaii pictures, which I didn't have access to last post:
Testing out Travis's Christmas gift. He kindly shared with her.

That's right! We're a reading family!

This is one of the paddle boards we used to go on the river twice. It was so fun!


And now for the Pennsylvania pictures:

Alice has become more interested in trying on clothes. She also makes sure we all have jackets, hats, and mittens before we got outside.

We love our new rug (Kendra's Christmas gift)! It's bright, but that's what we were going for. It's must nicer to lay on than the uninsulated, hard berber carpet.



And here you can see the whole kitchen set that we finally put out. My parents painted it while they were in town in October. We had gotten it from some friends who were moving from Pittsburgh, and we all love it! 

Yup, first hair cut! I was contemplating cutting her hair, and then decided not to. That night during bath time, I just saw this long stringy dangle of hair running down Alice's back , so I lopped it off. I had to do some tidying up the next day, but overall it's looking good. And we're finally figuring out how to keep it out of her eyes without cutting bangs.

Facetime with Grandma Lori, Grandpa Luke, and Aunt May-may. Technology is amazing!


Yeah, I mean, I'm pretty cool. I actually know how to put sunglasses on my own face now, at least.


Just doing the model walk and showing of the new clothes my Grandma sent me . . .

  . . . which happen to match my boots perfectly.

Gotta get everything ready for shopping . . .

If she really had eyes in the back of her head, she would have known I was taking this photo and then would have started running around to make it as blurry as possible.

Still with those sunglasses on--look like some sort of alien facial ornament


Alice's pantry

She figured out on her own that strawberries and lemons are a good combo (she even had velcroed the two different halves to each other).
Trying on her new furry boots. They're pretty big for this year, but will fit next year!

Gotta love that little face!

 Carnegie Natural History Museum

Alice loved seeing all the animals she's seen in books!

The nice thing about taxidermy is that it can get up close and personal.

I wouldn't want to meet those tusks in person.

She was pretty much in awe with everything she saw.

"What does a rhinoceros do?" "Stick you"



Digging for dino bones. Well, brushing the sand away. We're required to wear the goggles, so this venture lasted just long enough for the photo.

Trying on part of our car emergency kit (face masks)

The National Aviary

Visiting the National Aviary on MLK day. The flamingos were her favorite part, probably because she saw them first, they are in a lot of her books, and they are big and hard to miss.




She would just walk right up to these birds and around them like they were other people walking around. 

SNOW!

Dressed up like a marshmallow for the snow!

She didn't really like it when I put her in the 6 inches of snow because it was hard to walk.

Don't worry. She was okay.






She looked a little bit Indian with that raspberry dot on her forehead




Yup, this is me boiling clothes after Alice put a red crayon through the wash and dryer. Red splotches were on almost all of her clothing items, some of which were brand new. But don't worry . . . after many different techniques, the crayon came out of most items. It depends somewhat on the material, but overall I was happy with the results. Parent hazing, I guess

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December: "More chocolate!" and Christmas in Hawaii

I have a whole month to catch up on. First is an important milestone. Alice made her first two-word string, which was entirely self-invented: "More chocolate!" That's what she said. We can get her to do anything when we mention the word "chocolate," but we try not to abuse it.

Alice is our little parrot. She repeats many of the words we say, and she keep surprising us. The worst words are ones like "fox" and "fork," where her pronunciation is a little bit lacking and it sounds like she's swearing. I guess we hadn't realized this when we bought her some fox pajamas, and now when she wears them she runs around shouting "fox."

Alice is getting better and better at singing, too. We love hearing her tunes as she falls asleep or when she wakes up.

We were so blessed to spend Christmas in Hawaii with some of Ryan's family. More details are below with the pictures.

And . . . school starts again tomorrow and I really need to get this post up, so enough chit-chat and onto the pictures!

Putting sticky notes on face

Amazed by the Christmas tree at home


After pressing the button on our Hogwarts ornament

Opening our at-home Christmas gifts before we left town


She was very willing to open anyone's presents.


At first she just opened a bunch of clothes. This gift from her cousins was the first toy she opened, and she was thrilled!

Ryan was really excited about his new book (now the largest book we own), but Alice wanted him to open her box of Duplos.

So happy with her fruit

And her instrument

And ALL THE PRESENTS! Seriously, what a spoiled little girl! The only thing in this picture that Ryan and I bought was her PJs, and they weren't even a Christmas gift. Thank you, family.

Practicing fruit-cutting. It was really nice the few days after Christmas because Alice would just go to the play room and play for a long time while leaving us in peace!
Hawaii
Ryan's parents that live in Hawaii were so amazingly kind in helping us fly to visit them for Christmas. The flight itself was not fun, but being in Hawaii was a real treat.


Alice loved "helping" Uncle Travis with his Lego creations. He was patient the first day!

Hard at work. 

At the park

Christmas morning

A tooth! Travis's second front tooth came out while he was busy distributing gifts!

The most-played-with gift of the season.

Alice just really wanted to open all of Travis's presents, so we had to preoccupy her somehow.

At first she was a bit scared of the dogs. [Loki yawns] "My what big teeth you have . . ."

But she really warmed up to them. She would call them and talk to them, and she still calls for them, even though we're now home.





Orienteering practice at the beach (father-son bonding, you know)


Ann made the mistake of wiping the sand off Alice's hand. Then every time she got sand on her hand or foot (=all the time), she wanted Ann to wipe it off.


Beach walk with Grandma Ann


Beautiful day in Hawaii, as always

Grandma Ann and Alice hang out while the rest of us look for whales. We saw a number of blow spouts, and Kendra saw a tail splashing around a lot.

Beach day bonding with Grandpa Scott



Daddy makes Alice laugh


Anini beach on a beautiful day



We went to Kokee for some hiking. It's a huge state park on the dry side of the island. It has some great views of a beautiful valley.

Apparently we were the first of the day to take this trail. We ended up turning around because of all the webs. It was still a nice hike though.


Stop and smell the flowers


Alice enjoyed doing some hiking of her own.

She was especially interested in the signs on the nature walk.

A view on the drive home. There are some really beautiful prairies on this side of the island--the green in the prairies was uniquely bright.


We got up early for a sunrise, a run on the beach trail, and some more whale-watching (but we didn't see any this time)

New Year's Eve sparklers

Travis did some awesome dances with some self-made Polynesian chants. 


Scott's firecracker invention hanging from the porch

The grand finale

Christmas lights at the old town courthouse. Oh yes, believe it or not, I was in Hawaii too. (Is this the first picture of me?)

One of our favorite things we did on the trip was an 8-mile hike on the Nepali Coast.

It was a lovely day with some breathtaking views.

The trail had a nice mix of ocean views and jungle vegetation. We ran the trail off an on when conditions allowed.


Just because I was having a great time. We kept saying "I can't believe we've never done this hike before!"

We crossed this river a number of times. At some of the crossings we just ditched the rocks and waded through.

After a two-mile hike to a beach, we hiked up a valley two more miles to a waterfall. There were some beautiful patches of bamboo along the way.

And here's the waterfall.


This is the beach that was two-miles in. The rocks were all very round from erosion. Apparently some Aliens came in and stacked them, too.

The Hawaiian cardinals are pretty unique.

Playing at the park

The whole crew
We have a few more pictures that I need to get from Ryan's phone. Most notably, they show us with the paddle boards, which we borrowed from one of Scott's friends. We paddle boarded up the Wailua River twice, and it was so, so, so lovely. People told us beforehand that we'd fall in a ton, but I never fell in and Ryan did just once. We're just THAT good.

Anywho, that's all for now. There are probably a billion typos in this post because I was writing so fast, but just forget about it.

'Til next time!