Tuesday, January 31, 2012

hawaii in five

Click the little YouTube button to view larger in YouTube.

Beware. Watching this movie may cause one to get ridiculously trunky for summer.

Also, it's about five minutes long. So if you haven't five minutes to enjoy paradise, I've included a few more still shots (and explanations) for you.

I love these pictures. Pretty place. Pretty babies. Lovely memories. Including the meltdowns. Because we got over it and just loved the guts out of each other.

Thank you Hawaii.
My favorite faces. In. The. World.

The clouds in Hawaii are kind of amazing. That said, they often block the sunset.
However, the sun through them was pretty fantastic.
Annabelle is generally not fond of messes on her person.
At two years old she still hates to get messy while eating.
But put her in sand? Whole new ballgame.
She could live on the beach, quite literally.
Oh so serious.
This is Lydia staring us down just after her first encounter with the ocean.
Not a fan. Not a fan at all.
So they're not totally sharp photos, but come on!
Jess got pics of a whale jumping!
Most photos you see of Hawaii are all beach and ocean.
But there's jungle too.
This was a little hike we went on to Honolua Bay (a snorkeling hot spot).
Um, yeah.
This photo sums up Hawaii pretty well.
Her very favorite part of Hawaii: the cool, most towels the resort passed around.
She played with them for hours.
Jess said that just before he snapped this photo, this blow hole blew
even larger and soaked those super intelligent tourists to the left.
I think she just looks pretty much beautiful here.
And so very happy.
Sadly, this is how much of Lou's naps happened.
The sun setting on our last day.
We had a red eye flight, so we stayed outside until the last
minute to watch the sunset before going in to pack it up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

we're baaaaack!

So, um yeah. Hawaii. I have absolutely no idea how I'll ever suffiently update ya'll on a week in paradise. It was both the most relaxing and exhausting vacation ever. Taking two babies to Hawaii is not the easiest task. And it's possible that each member in our family had at least a minor meltdown. But we made it work. And we had a lot of fun doing it. Annabelle was our little fish and spent hours -HOURS AND HOURS - at the beach and pool. And Loula screamed at the ocean or sand if we got too close. (No, really. Screamed.) That said, we managed to find a perfect balance of beach and ventures and food and shade (for Lou) and glorious, glorious sun. And my heavens, that ocean air. My skin could drink that stuff for years and not get tired of it.

I'll be spending the next few days sorting through photos. I haven't a clue how they'll end up here, but they will. So for now, a random selection. :)

Things to note:

1. Like I wear makeup in Hawaii. And yes, yes, I am that hot and sweaty. And chubby to boot. Oh well.
2. I managed to keep both children from burning the entire week. That feat alone deserves national recognition. Have you seen their pasty skin? Not to mention Lou's BALD WHITE HEAD?
3. Annabelle's curls were to. die. for. They're popular here, but she practically stopped traffic in Hawaii.

Stay tuned. I feel like a video might be in the works. Because there are dozens of photos I already love. Oh Hawaii, we miss you already.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

six months

Little Lala:

Six months. For real? I can't begin to tell you how lovely you've made the last six months. My only regret is that they seem to have passed entirely too quickly. You continue to just be the happiest little thing around. People - strangers and friends alike - are constantly commenting on that "happy little baby!"
This month you sealed the deal on being a mama's girl. Yes, yes. Mommy is definitely your favorite. That said, your older sister is in serious competition with me. You two have become best buds in the last month. Annabelle is a little obsessed with you - she loves to "hold" you and loves trying to pick you up (don't worry - she hasn't done so unsupervised...yet). She loves to make you laugh and smile, and she's actually starting to share toys. You love your Daddy bunches too. In fact, your most consistent babble is a "Da da da da da da." Some people dismiss that kind of babble, but I sincerely believe there is some recognition in the sounds babies make.
You started sitting this month. Sort of unassisted. You still need some pillows for support and for catching your sideways dives. You love to hold every little thing in your vicinity. You love to examine things until you've really determined how they operate. You give head bumps, just like your big sister did. It's your own little sign of affection, and my forehead is often red from your continual bumping. You love to bump my head and hold my hair. You also still love your blanket. Um, lots. You dive into it and eat it and roll around in it. You can't sleep without it.
You've had like six hundred colds this month. (Which accounts for your semi-somber photo shoot and your crusty nose.) I'm sorry baby. Its a germy time of year. You're a real trooper, and a week before you turned six months, the doctor okayed baby ibuprofen for you, which was a serious lifesaver. Your sleep has been whack-a-doo this month, but I think it's mostly because you haven't been able to breathe very good with all these colds. You haven't started solid foods yet, but when we get from Hawaii, it's time. I know you're ready - you try to steal our food regularly and follow our eating utensils to our mouth with your mouth open.
You've got a little bit of hair on that big head of yours (96th percentile), but you're mostly our "baldly" as your sister loves to call you. You're super tall and fit into some 12 month clothes. Although you're not wide enough to fill out most.You do this thing with your little hands that looks like you're waving. I know you're not exactly saying hello or goodbye, but I love watching you realize that you have control over the way your hands move. You like to stand up on the couch or on the church pews as well. Your legs are straight and strong, and I sometimes wonder if you'll crawl at all.
Happy half year sweet thing. I hope you know that you're my heart little Lou Lou. And my joy. And I can't get enough of you.

All my love,
Here she is at one month.
Here she is at two months.
Here she is at three months.
Here she is at four months.
Here she is at five months.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

my heart wants to sing every song it hears

The other day, Annabelle woke up from her nap in customary fashion: a sudden, "Mommy! Mommy!? I'm in here!" as though perhaps I forgot that's where I left her. I went and retrieved my little baby and deposited her on the couch so I could get her customary (watered down) apple-juice-after-nap. I had been watching Gilmore Girls while I cleaned, and the Girls were still fast talking away. Annabelle said, "What is this?" Me: "It's Gilmore Girls." Her: "Hmmm....Do they sing in this?" Me: "No, not in this one." Her: "Could we watch something that has singing?"
I grew up in music. And I mean it, in music. Our formal living room houses somewhere in the neighborhood of six musical instruments (all of which my mom plays), and has at one time or another housed upwards of eight or nine by my count. The center of our home is my mom's baby grand, a creamy colored, beautiful wooden piano, with dig marks above the keys in certain octaves where our fingers have rubbed the wood away. She bought that piano just before she got married, one of those purchases she knew she wouldn't be able to make otherwise, and a purchase she wanted to be all her own. Some of my fondest memories are falling asleep to the sound of my mom's fingers on that piano. She is incredibly talented in everything she does, but it seems to me that perhaps her fingers become a little bit magic when they find their home above those keys, and music just effortlessly tumbles out. We began piano lessons as soon as we could read (age four), and while we often fought her on practicing, we all grew to love the piano and music in general. I believe music - sung or played or even listened to - shapes the brain into something marvelous. It lifts spirits. It speaks to our souls. I believe music is vital to life just as water.
For Christmas, Grandma Lichelle gave Annabelle a guitar. Her very own, very real, acoustic guitar, "just her size." Now she can be "just like Maria!" which of course, was my mom's intention. But most important to me, she can sing-sing-sing while she plays her beautiful little tunes. She has yet another way to let beautiful music fill our tiny apartment. She has a harmonica as well (also from Grandma Lichelle) that she got for Christmas the year before. Just yesterday I heard her puffing away on it, random sounds harmoniously melding together in a strange combination of non-matching chords, her cheeks making clouds on the sides of her pretty little face. Suddenly, she pulled it away from her mouth and explained, "That was The Hills Are Alive!" And she was so proud.
Here's to my musical baby. And the hopes that it stays a part of her heart forever.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I'm sure I have a blog post with this title already. And I'm sure I'll have many more. Because seriously. These sisters! I'm sorting through photos for The Daily Lou (I pre-load 2-4 at a time), and I came across these. And I couldn't bear to wait a few days to share them. These girls!

I love how much they love each other. I love how much I love them.

And they really do look alike, don't they? Sometimes I don't think so. Maybe because Lou is so stinkin bald and her sister has that head of curls.

But then sometimes, yes. Sisters for sure. Oh, how I love these sisters.

Friday, January 13, 2012

bath baby

For some reason, I regularly bust the camera out after bath time to take pictures of Lou Lou. I did the same thing with Belle. It actually ended up being pretty fun with Annabelle to see how she grew through bath time photos. And so it continues. They're just so darn cute all fresh from the bath, right?
And here's a random bath time tidbit about Lou: she does not like a lukewarm bath. She shivers. Convulses even. But put her in a marginally hot bath? And she reclines like a retired old man on the deck of a cruise ship. Minus the leathery, wrinkled skin. Well, she also kick kick kicks. But mostly she just loves to be all toasty.
Dead ringer for her sister here...
But definitely little Loula here. That face is all her own.

Also, that hair is curly. I swear it. I'll be really surprised if I'm wrong, although I suppose it's happened before. Once or twice. :)

P.S. These photos were taken a few days ago, before the snots took over our lives. If you were wondering why she was smiling so nice, it's because she can breathe.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the snots

So we have got a serious case of the snots around here. It's one of those colds that creeps up on you slowly and then WHAM! you're a goner. All of us have it too, which is a rareity as Mr. Jess has the immune system of a mountain goat and rarely RARELY gets sick. But alas, we've all got the snots. The kind where snot just unexpectedly and without any sort of warning comes shooting out your nose. It's equal opportunity snot too - on furniture, people, whatever your nose feels deems a sliming. So awkward. Belle seems to be on the up and up, but the rest of us are wiped out. Loula spends the night by yelling at us. And truly, it's not so much crying as is it is yelling, like, DUDES! I AM SO SICK OF THIS SNOTTY NOSE! MAKE IT GO AWAY! AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, JUST GIVE ME MY #@$% BINKY!

We're surviving by watching the Sound of Music over and over (oh wait, that's real life too), re-enacting the Sound of Music over and over (oh wait...real life), playing lots of Memory (Boo is getting good), eating lots of this bread (the second recipe in the link), and just generally avoiding the hefty list of tasks that needs to be accomplished before we leave for Hawaii next week. And Lou of course finds her binky most vital to survival. I've never been more grateful to have a binky baby. In. My. Life. I myself consider it seriously awesome self-control that I haven't busted out a bag of Hershey Kisses, as I generally find them necessary to any type of healing. It's something about the way that waxy chocolate coats your throat. Or perhaps it's just the fact that it's chocolate. Period.

Cold be gone. Sleep be back.

No, for real.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

puppy love

I grew up with dogs. Starting with our shetland sheepdog, Bluff (named for the bluffs surrounding St George, UT) and culminating three additional dogs later in the current four-legged residents at my mom's house, Chamine - a fifteen-year-old keeshond and maybe the world's best dog, not to mention most beautiful, and Miley - a three-year-old pomeranian (seen here) whose yips make my brain rattle but whose love saved my mom in some hard times.
Growing up, I always knew my kids would have a dog simply because their presence in my life as a child and a teenager was really that important. Now, of course, I understand my mom's (former) resistance to these furry friends - the mess and the hair. Yuck. Not to mention the barking. That said, my mom now lets a little yipper sleep in her bed. Dogs are quite literally a part of our family, and a part even my mom wouldn't take away.
We don't need a dog (or cat for that matter) right now - not until Belle is a little older at least (and I'd love to be done with crawling babies as the thought of dog hair in their mouths makes me gag a little). And Jess doesn't want one at all. He didn't grow up with one and doesn't know how much you can really love a pet. But I know we will have one, even though Jess will resist even more than I. Because I know these girls will put on their puppy dog eyes, and Mommy will explain how simply amazing it is to have a forever friend around, and Daddy will cave.
Because really. Look at this girl. And it's not even her dog. P.S. Lou loved Miley too. I'm so sad we don't have photos of Lou giggling her guts out at Miley and trying to give her head bumps. Sorry Daddy. There's a dog in our future! :)

All photos by dc photography. That said, all post processing was by me. In Picasa. Because we're ghetto like that. And I'd hate for her to get blamed for my sweet photo editing skills. :)


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