On Monday we had the great pleasure of going to the zoo with a friend of mine, Trista (not to be confused with my sister), and her son Draven. Draven is seriously the happiest, most good-natured baby I have ever been around. How did she get so lucky? Ali, take note please!
The weather was to die for, we went early before it got too hot- or too crowded, and both kids did amazingly well even when we ran over naptime. Both also promptly crashed on their respective car rides home.
This was Ali’s second foray to the zoo. This same zoo, to be exact. Last time was in August (13ish months old) and boy what a difference eight months can make! The girl was excited for days, seriously had trouble falling asleep the night before, was generally just pumped. While the animals didn’t prove to be as interesting as it seemed she thought they would be, the zoo itself was quite a hit.
In the gift shop we let her pick up a toy and she hose a tiny stuffed monkey that has since been named “Monkey River” after one of her favorite songs from her favorite CD. She’s been sleeping with MR and taking it everywhere. Which is not unusual, we have definitely entered a “lovey” stage, though the object itself rotates from week to week. For better of worse, I totally encourage it, asking her if she wants to bring a “friend” when we leave the house. It’s just so adorable.
Yes, we have an update. For the record, there have been one to two attempts that have gotten deleted and, well I get frustrated and step away. For like a week. And the longer the hiatus grows the harder it is to return. This better make it to see the bluish light of a computer screen other than my own.
We are amazingly well. Loving the city. Loving the beautiful house we are blessed to call home. Loving being near family and friends. Loving the weather and the time of year. Loving the funny, sweet, big/little girl Ali has become. Yesterday it was over eighty degrees here! Warm enough that we brought out the kiddie pool and let the girl have a ball.
Just for the record, some new set-up has been rigged in an attempt to keep me from losing aforementioned posts. And I can’t see whether the pics are working or not or how they’re sized, so please bare with if it’s awful!
So there are a few things I’ve been meaning to post for awhile now. And as I sit here to do so, I realize they share a common thread: Ali is becoming quite a little artist.
Let’s begin with her recent foray into photography. As anyone who has been around us knows, daughter is quite adept at using our iPhones. She grabs them (now usually accompanied with cries of "Pictures! Please! Pictures! Please!"), unlocks the screen, scrolls through the programs to find the pictures or the apps we’ve downloaded for her to play with, and can entertain herself for quite awhile. Every so often I would find a bunch of random text in the notepad and more frequently my icons would be re-arranged. Since we’ve moved, she’s learned how to delete pictures (although its not clear she understands what she’s doing, she clicks the little trash can and then confirms the deletion) and paradoxically seems to delete ones she likes. Then, one day I discovered these:
It seems our little kid has become quite the Bourke-White, as a whole series of "Shopping Cart" pictures have appeared lately. Here’s one of my favorites (brief appearance by my foot in upper right):
Now that she can take pictures and subsequently delete them, who knows what kind of Ali art has already been lost. And yes, we let her play on the phones sometimes during long shopping trips (on long Costco runs or about the time we hit the curtain section in Ikea and she’s all played out). Which brings us to our next item of business, her easel. From Ikea. See what I did there?
Ali has loved coloring for quite awhile now, and has recently gotten very into colors. She likes to point out the colors of everything and is often more excited about the color than the item itself. We’ve been wanting to get her an art setup for awhile now (her table and chairs, previously for coloring, are now the domain of "eating" whatever she makes in her kitchen), so when we saw an inexpensive easel, we snatched one up, and she has really been loving it. Here are a few of our masterpieces:
She likes to do some side by side drawings where she takes one side and you take the other. She really likes the multicolored pacis, and Cookie Monster and Elmo are the only characters I can even remotely draw, so they tend to pop up a lot.
Well, I had to cut this post off once to head out earlier and now I’m super tired, so the rest will have to wait.
A couple weekends ago my "family of origin" and I got portraits done as JCPenney. The pics just got picked up with afternoon which reminded me to post a few here, if you haven’t seen them already. They are very low-res, so sorry about that but, trust me, they turned out really great.
Yes, we made it! And a day early at that. HUGE thank you to my mom who more or less made the entire move smooth with her help. We were glad we ended up being ready a day early b/c there was snow in the mountain the day we were supposed to leave. The house is GREAT, working out better than I even hoped. Ali has done splendidly, I think she likes it too. The neighborhood seems very nice and we’ve had a couple girls say they want to babysit! Ha, good luck.
Still so busy though. Most of the unpacking is done, we were lucky not to have a lot but that means a fair amount of shopping. Browsing, debating, then purchasing. Or, in some cases, ordering. Give us a month and we hope the house will knock your socks of even more than it already does. But, more than that we hope this will be a great home for our family at this point in our lives. Anyway, just got the internet installed this evening, thought I would give an update. Now on to math homework. Or browsing for a duvet cover 😉
Here are the only pics I have. Ali enjoying her new room (see those windows? They are fabulous and EVERYWHERE. No curtains though which is the current project) and my fabulous new kitchen.
One post covering two months? Pathetic. And yet, necessary at the moment. I’ doing this mostly to get some new pics up, kind of for you all out there but mostly for my dad who Ali forces to look at "Ali" with her whenever we are in town. Which was last weekend. And this one. And the next…
So, Dad, here’s some new ones for you!
In other news we are moving the weekend after next! To SE portland, a nice, nice three bedroom house. We ended up sacrificing the close-in locale for a nicer house and more affordable rent. We’ll see how that works come fall and the commute to PSU. So exciting but I have no idea how moving will happen. I can’t go there for fear of nervous breakdown because I am stretched to my limit right now.
Okay, let’s start with that. Again, a video. We’ve been having some fun with Tony’s new[ish] MacBook and hope you have too.
Yes, life as we know it is over. For the moment we just moved the changing table over and hope that buys us a little more time. Yes again, Ali is wearing a vest over her pjs. It’s cold here! Some randomness
Portland is getting another storm tomorrow. Of the snow and ice variety. Last I heard we are not which makes me both happy and sad.
Tony’s birthday is Monday! But we might be celebrating earlier. We are going to go to my parents’ on Tuesday and are planning to do our own Christmas beforehand. One reason being that one or two of Ali’s presents are too big to travel. It’s exciting that we get to get our festivities underway ahead of schedule!
Come Tuesday we will be gone for a long time. Like two weeks or more. Always a bit stressful. To say the least.
I am getting/am/am getting over being sick. Not sure which it is and it’s mostly just a sore throat and lethargy. I’ve napped three of the past four afternoons even though I’ve been getting an acceptable amount of sleep at night. I just crash. Hopefully it’s me fighting something off, meaning I’ve gotten as much as I’m gonna get.
We are looking at two more venues during out days in Portland next week. Will this search never end?!?
We did get some snow around here, enough for Ali to get out and experience it some. She liked it a lot and was not happy today when we wouldn’t let her out of the stroller. Today everything was mostly ice and she just can’t maneuver with that.
Outside our house.
Downtown, along Highway 101.
Stoked that we were going to the park.
Snow on the beach!
I have barely blogged about this, so I’m glad Tony and Ali are now vlogging (video-blogging for anyone unfamiliar). What a vocabulary this girl is developing! Not only is she a little parrot that can repeat just about anything, but I can’t even go through all the words she says on a daily basis. She’s even gettig to the point where she can kind of tell a little story. And coupling words together! Like "Hi Daddy, and "Bye tree." Also very into singing, her favorites are Rockabye Baby, in which she likes to substitute baby for daddy, elmo, Ali, Alyssa, etc. and Old MacDonald had a farm with she calls I-oh-ee or something along those lines.
Yeah, this is random. I’m kind of lost but glad to have gotten a blog out. Again, watch the video, this kid is crazy.
* Note: we still have power! Yay! It’s been pretty windy and VERY rainy but our electricity is holding strong. I think we’ll be over the worst of it in a few hours. And snow is forecasted for us on Sunday. Which is a delightful possibility if power is also to be in the equation.
Tonight Ali got to "meet" Santa. Rockaway Beach had a Santa come to town or a town party or something of that sort. Because, you know, it’s not like we can go see Santa at the mall out here. Anyway, Ali was stoked about it (kept saying "NaNa Hoohoo") until she got within arm’s reach. Totally expected. In fact, she did better than expected considering it didn’t even start until 6:30pm and she was seeing about 7pm, typical bedtime for her.
If you’re wondering where he heck this is, it’s at the firehouse where it was moved to once the storm was forecasted. Though, it begs the question, it was originally supposed to be on the wayside? At night? In December?!?! Really though, it was so cute. They gave all the kids teddy bears and bags of peanuts, an orange, candy canes, and taffy. Ah, small town.
On Wednesday Tony and Ali made some Christmas cookies. Here’s some documentation of that event:
Sigh. I really need to start grabbing my camera. A flash has become necessary on these dark and rather dreary days. Also, today I was finally able to upload some of our other Christmas photos. Obviously we did our favorites first, but see the rest here.