Oi, a lot to catch up on!! Buckle your seat belts, folks, you've got a picture-filled post!
1. Several weeks ago we had a family reunion with my mom's side of the family. There were roughly 20-25 people around my parents' house at any given time (yeah . . . I come from a big family). Ali handled it all like a champ and loved getting passed around to all the adoring family members. She especially loved watching her cousins Zoe, Dylan, and Chase play!
Here are Ali and cousin Zoe playing a rocking game.
Here are Ali with her two favorite boy cousins, Chase and Dylan.These guys were a constant source of entertainment and energy!
And here's a fav from the very last day. Four generations. I'm so glad I had a daughter. She was born into an amazing line.
2. Before we headed back out of town, we visited with Ali's great-grandparents. Always so good to see greats any chance we get!
3. Have I told you yet that Ali has my hair texture? It's true. I know it looks all smooth and tame in her pictures, but that's 'cause we brush it. This is what it looks like in all its natural glory, straight outta the bath. Pretty awesome, huh?
4. There's just something about them together that makes me melt.
5. We also had a reunion with my dad's side of the family. My (*cough*yankee*cough*) cousins were in town from New York City (get-a-rope) and we took the opportunity to gather and do what we do best . . . eat a lot and drink some good Texas beer.
Here's the motley crew . . .
And here's Ali being initiated in the ways of Texas.
6. And THEN we had Alex's parents in town for a visit! (yep! We got a lotta family!) Ali love-love-loves her Bubbie and Zeydie!
7. Want to know what happens when Aunt Katie wants to squeeze in a Skype session during naked time? That's right. That's a plastic bag.
8. Then last weekend, we headed to San Antonio to visit Grandpa and attend cousin Addison's first birthday. Our first stop was a gorgeous park in downtown San Antonio, where we hung out and enjoyed some burgers and hot dogs off the grill. It was the first time Ali had seen ducks up close and personal. She was so intrigued . . . they're small like our cats but what are those wings???? Ali also got her very first taste of watermelon . . . she's a fan!
Here Ali and Grandpa Studly are checking out some duck action.
9. After the park we headed to the San Antonio Zoo. Ali was a total champ even though we were waaay late on her nap. She checked out everything from the comfort of her stroller until the heat, watermelon, and day's excitement finally overcame her. She napped contentedly for the rest of our zoo trip. Oh well . . . we enjoyed seeing the animals, at least.
Here is Grandpa Studly helping Ali see the bears from the comfort of her stroller. Now that's seeing the zoo in style!
Here are Ali and I in the butterfly exhibit. She LOVED watching all the butterflies flitting around!
And here are Ali and Dad in front of the flamingos. As you can see, Ali thought the pink birds were pretty cool.
10. We took advantage of our first free afternoon in WEEKS to head to our neighborhood pool for Ali's first pool experience. She loves bath time, so I was confident she'd like the pool as well . . . if she could get past the fact that it was cold water and not delightfully warm water. She was a little apprehensive at first, but we eased her into it and showed her how to splish-splash just like in the tub. Once she caught on, she was a pool pro!
Here's Ali trying to explore a water spout. Luckily it wasn't turned on at the time.
And here is our pool princess . . . can you tell she's just having a wee bit of fun?
She claps! She's been kinda-clapping for a while now, which for her meant waving her entire arms up and down (and usually whapping herself in the stomach) while yelling, "AAAAAA," which I'm pretty sure was her version of "Yaaayyyyy!" which is what Alex and I say everytime we clap. But this morning, out of nowhere, she brought her hands right together like she was a pro at clapping and had been doing it right all along! I got so excited and clapped right back at her, which prompted her to clap some more ("Sweet! Look what I can make Mom do!"). We just kept right on going, clapping back and forth, me saying "Yayyyyy!" and her saying "AAAAAA!" and both of us clapping our hands.
And C as in Crawling.
It's true. She's MOBILE! She's been rocking back and forth on her hands and knees for a couple of weeks now, and she could spin herself in circles and move backwards, but as of last night she can officially get to where she wants to go. It's kind of a army-crawl-wiggle-worm-scooch move, but it's effective! I'm so proud of her!! Time to get serious about that baby-proofing business!
Wow, how spoiled are y'all?? Two video Mondays in a row?
We had Ali's Bubbie and Zeydie in town this weekend for a lovely visit, the highlight of which was Ali's absolute, unmitigated DELIGHT at watching a ball roll! We have gotten her to laugh before at tickling her or tossing her in the air, but this was the first time she had cracked up so much for so long. It was a laughing fit . . . and this is just the tail end of it! What an awesome, awesome sound.
A couple of new videos to put a smile on your face this Monday morning!
This first one shows you how Ali has learned to smack her lips! She does it when she's hungry or when she's eating something she really likes. (This one also shows you how enthralled with the camera Ali is . . . I love in the first couple seconds how you can see that she was all smiles and having fun . . . and then BAM! A camera! And stares. Funny girl.)
And this one shows you Ali's newest trick--for lack of a better name, we call it "Bub-bub-bub." She will also do it to herself if we aren't around to do it for her, strumming her bottom lip like a guitar string. It's a pretty funny thing to hear over the monitor in the morning!!
SELF 1. create a list of 101 goals and a timeframe within which to complete them 2. start a blog 3. get published as an editor or author 4. get a promotion 5. get all my boxes from my parents 6. organize and consolidate childhood boxes 7. turn 30 and love it 8. motivate husband to create his own version of goal list and time frame
HEALTH & FITNESS 9. complete a half-ironman 10. complete a century ride (100 miles) 11. complete the MS150 12. do yoga in a park 13. do 25 full-length push-ups without stopping 14. do a Krav Maga class 15. play 9 holes of golf from drive to putt 16. subscribe to a fitness magazine 17. be comfortable in a size 8 18. avoid getting sunburned 19. go to the dentist consistently 20. floss consistently 21. get my vision checked 22. no sodas for a month 23. no sweets for a month 24. no fried food for a month 25. eat a vegan meal 26. take a “mental health” day
HOME 27. paint a room 28. keep a potted plant alive for at least one year 29. acquire rest of nice flatware from registry 30. plant a tree 31. do something to our back yard so that it’s not just grass and fence 32. finish decorating 33. find a permanent acceptable location for the litter box 34. get a water softener 35. find a good solution for necklace storage 36. get gutters
FUN & GAMES 37. have the neighbors over for dinner 38. get SCUBA certified 39. go dancing with my husband 40. make a bull’s eye in a dart game 41. have a girls’ night out 42. play a game of chess 43. host a game night or dinner party 44. fly a homemade kite 45. check out the county park near our house 46. go on the Austin Segway tour 47. get dressed up and go to a cool bar/club downtown 48. attempt cow tipping 49. go spelunking
TRAVEL 50. create photo book of trip to Ireland/London 51. camp in a national park 52. travel abroad with just husband 53. take a trip with child and husband 54. throw a dart and go wherever it lands 55. take a picture in front on an iconic landmark
FAMILY 56. visit my sister 57. visit my brother/do a race in NC 58. visit my grandmother 59. tell my family I love them whenever we hang up 60. get to know my “new” cousin better 61. spend an afternoon with just my mother-in-law 62. start a family 63. keep a pregnancy journal to eventually pass on to my child
FINANCIAL 64. get a raise 65. buy a car 66. write a will 67. pay off all my medical bills 68. give handmade Christmas gifts 69. plan and execute a major fundraising event for TNT
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 70. write and send a letter (not an email) 71. take a Mensa test (just for the hell of it) 72. make an effort to not let how people treat me affect how I treat them 73. allow myself to spend more than $100 on a fabulous pair of non-athletic shoes 74. volunteer at an animal shelter 75. volunteer at a homeless shelter 76. donate hair to Locks of Love 77. clean out house and donate at least twice a year to Goodwill (5 times total) 78. watch Fiddler on the Roof from start to finish 79. read The Brothers Karamazov 80. attend a poetry slam 81. see a show such as Blue Man Group or Dane Cook 82. take a cooking class 83. cook a fresh dinner every night for a week 84. host a family holiday at our house 85. bake a loaf of bread from scratch 86. sew something 87. vote in something other than a presidential election 88. make an informed vote in the 2008 presidential election 89. attend a religious service other than Christian 90. go to the O. Henry pun-off 91. learn basic phrases for fourth language 92. learn to appreciate wine 93. go to a concert 94. eat something I’ve never tried before 95. read a nonfiction book 96. read a self-help book 97. go skinny dipping in a river/lake/ocean 98. put change in someone’s expired meter 99. rescue a dog from a shelter 100. say “thank you” to a police officer 101. do something special do celebrate completion of 101 goals!!!