Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Signing for applesauce.

By Liv

Stella showing off her "More" and "Please" signs - in addition to her pearly whites :)

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

London with the ladies.

By Liv

My Mother-in-law (Marlane), Auntie-in-law (Marcea) and their friend (Rosie) are here visiting us and Stella couldn't be happier about it. She is getting so much attention and soaking it up like a little ham!

Yesterday, we took the one hour train ride from Oxford to London and meandered all over the city for the day. Some of the top sights we enjoyed seeing were: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, The Parliament Building, Buckingham Palace and Harrods. The most difficult part of our trip was finding a way to fit in to the crowded Underground trains. Marlane and Rosie were literally SHOVED in to one of the trains by another passenger when the train was overcrowded. It was pretty entertaining.

The ride home was the perfect time to enjoy a few beers and laugh about the crazy day we had just encountered.

Baby videos

By Liv

I'm so impressed with my new iPhone 4 - it has a video camera that is pretty useful for people like me who like to capture every other moment of life. Here are a few videos that I took at the park down the road from our house. Stella practicing her walking and playing in leaves.

If you're viewing this blog post on Facebook and can't see the videos, please click the link for this post and it will take you to our blog where you can view the videos.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


By Liv

Stella is so lucky to have such a loving Dad and I'm sure she is just as proud of him as I am.

Perfect weather for a Sunday hike

By Liv

On Sunday we woke up to a beautiful bright sun glowing in through our curtains. It was the perfect day to go for a hike. So we packed up Stella in the backpack and joined our new friends Xavier, Laura and their son Tenzing on a hike along the Thames.

Along our hike we saw cows, horses, fishermen and their live bait (ew), rowers practicing their pace and an array of beautiful trees and plants. We ended up finding our way to an amazing (and somewhat secluded) french-inspired pub/restaurant called The Perch This pub formed part of the inspiration for Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland, one of Britain's most loved authors.

The inside of the pub is spectacularly decorated with an eclectic array of paintings and bright decorations. The only thing more exciting than it's interior is it's exterior! The outdoor seating directly behind it is beautiful - covered in trees that hang low, beautiful sweeping branches down and almost touch the ground. Picnic tables dot the lawn and a huge stretched-canvas canopy offers covered seating, for those rainy times. Luckily for us it we didn't need any cover and instead sat in the grass on a picnic table and watched Stella and Tenzing devour the snacks that we had packed.

Nick and I shared a homemade waffle and a crepe filled with goat cheese, arugula, ham and fresh tomatoes. I can't wait to return to this little gem of a place and hopefully it will be with the same company. We love our new friends!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nick is officially a student at Oxford.

Stella doing the sign for "tree" while looking at a tree.

By Liv

Yesterday, Nick Matriculated. Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matricula – little list.

In the English universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Durham, the term is used for the ceremony at which new students are entered into the register of the university, at which point they become members of the university. Oxford requires matriculands to wear academic dress with subfusc during the ceremony.

At Oxford, new students gather at their prospective colleges for photos and at a specified time, they march together to the Examination School where they listen to some speeches and march back to their school.

The weather really couldn't have been any more perfect for the matriculation ceremony yesterday. It was crisp and cool with a lot of sunshine.

There are quite a few of these symbolic traditions that take place at Oxford University. They seem a little strange at first, but once you live in this culture, it all makes sense. Everything is about tradition and it's all very proper and interesting. I look forward to being part of the next big event.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

She walks, but doesn't want to!

By Liv

Everyone keeps asking, "Is she walking yet?" and the answer has been, "Yes" for a long time now, but the funny thing is that there isn't a definite day that we can say she started walking because she did it so gradually and still prefers to hold my hand when she walks, or to simply crawl.

I'm not sad about it. Let's be honest, kids grow up quickly. My baby is now talking and has her own opinions. I know that it's just a matter of time before she starts wanting to do things without me, have her own friends, talk on the phone... aaah!

But I love this age. I love having my entire day to spend with Stella. I adore her and I hope she will always remember that, even when I'm not near her to remind her.

Here is a quick video of her practicing her walking. My other-mom, Rhonda Jarvis, (my best friend, Tiffany Jarvis's Mom) gave me some good advice the other day. She said that when Tiff was Stella's age, she also didn't really care for walking, so her Pediatrician at the time recommended giving Tiffany a spoon in each hand so that she felt like she was holding on to something while she was walking. The reason he recommended spoons was because they won't hurt her if she falls on them. I decided to try her little trick out and it worked - until Stella decided to sit down and play with the spoons.

What a sweetie pie!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sucking up the last of the sunshine.

By Liv

The weather in Oxford has been fantastic: bright sunny skies with a refreshing cool breeze. Knowing that this could all change at a moment's notice, Stella and I have been taking every possible chance we can to get outdoors. We have enjoyed trips to the two nearby playgrounds almost every day.

We also made it to the Oxford Newcomer's Club, which helps new Oxford residents become acquainted with their fellow newcomers. Stella had a great time playing with some brand new toys and I enjoyed meeting some other Mamas from all around the world.

After the long days of activities, our favorite time of the day is dinner and bath time. I am so thankful to have such a sweet little girl to share my days with. She's becoming quite the lovey little girl: she now gives endless kisses, hugs, pats on the back and loves to lay her head on my shoulder when I hold her. I hope she never grows out of this phase!

Nick has started school and homework and is still really busy. He has joined the Oxford Tennis Team and had his first practice this evening. I'm so proud of him and look forward to taking Stella to his first match. In the meantime, I picked up Stella her very own pink tennis racket. It's never too early to start getting her used to it, right?