Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pictures of our Sweet Alice

I finally got around to getting a photographer to take pictures of Alice and the family.  We met on a Sunday afternoon at a hiking trail near the lake, and the photographer took us down to the water to take the pictures.  Alice did great, even stopping to pose for him on occasion.  We collected rocks for Alice to throw into the water while the photographer just took candid photos while she played. 

A few weeks later, the photographer came over to the house to show us the pictures. He had even put together a slide show with the pictures. Alice likes to looks at pictures of herself, but for some reason, the video with the music makes her cry ;-( Big tears began to well up in her eyes and she just started bawling...but she wanted to see it again and again. The music is Louis Armstrongs "What a wonderful World".  We ask her why she is crying and all she will say is that shes sad and scared.  We don't know if its the music or what, but we finally had to put it up and not let her watch it again.

These are just a few of my favorite pictures.  We take pictures of Alice all the time ourselves, but others are able to get a different side of our sugar bear.  We also wanted some of her personality to show through in her clothing choices and accessories. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Robot Maintenance

Alice at Papa and Gamy's house for T-Day+1.

We got a new Roomba robot recently and Alice really likes it.  She loves pushing the buttons and running away as its starts cleaning.  The last few days she has started helping me clean the robot.  She brings her step stool into the kitchen and helps wipe down the Roomba after a cleaning.  She is very interested in robot maintenance and asks me what parts are called (listening closely to answers) and wants to help clean each piece.  Its fun and its generally awesome that Alice will grow up with robots. :-)

Alice understands it to be asleep when it is recharging on its base (a.k.a. its bed).  Also, the robot is often silly.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alice learns to pedal

It took Alice a while to understand the concept of pedeling,
but she finally got it last Friday.
She has taken a few spills on the trike,
but she always gets back up and tries again.
Thats my Girl!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer

We avoided Dora as long as possible.  We knew an end to the no-Dora era was coming to a close when she came home from a visit to Grandma Didi's house with Dora Pj's, which became her favorite.  Then, she started Spanish classes at school  and they use Dora to teach the kids spanish.  So when we asked Alice one day what she wanted to watch and she enthusiatically yelled "DORI" we knew it was over.
Every since she has started watching Dora, she has not wanted to watch a single movie...no Totoro, no Iron Giant, no Anastasia.  Although we dreaded Alice succumbing to the Dora bandwagon, we have noticed some benefits to her watching the show.  She is getting better at counting, following directions and answering questions.  She has also started to create her own Dora pretend games.  We take turns playing "Swiper de Box" (she has a hard time saying Fox) and Alice and Daddy create maps to follow to find the items Swiper takes.

Maybe I'm just trying to rationalize how something we dreaded but could not avoid, could actually turn out to be something beneficial and educational for Alice...and therefore was not as loathsome as we feared ;-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Potty Training

Alice was potty trained in 1 week. This is a bold statement, and for the most part true on our part. We talked to Alice about going potty at home and on weekends, but she was uninterested. She was much happier playing with us and not having to take time to go potty. We had limited success on the potty training front at home, but we really were not pushing her either. We figured when she was ready, she would tell us. If it hadn’t happened by the time she turned 3, then we would really being to train her in earnest.
School on the other hand, really tried to get the kids to start going potty. They have scheduled potty breaks and tiny little porcelain toilets for them to train on. Alice started to wear pull-ups at school, although she refused to wear them at home….she still wanted to wear her diapers. She had a potty chart at school and stickers were starting to appear on it regularly. One day her teacher said…”Alice’s pull up has been dry all day. If you want to bring her in panties, we could see how she does”. So, the next day Alice went to school in big girl panties and has been wearing them ever since. We still have to remind her to go potty, or ask her if she needs to go, but for the most part, Alice will just tell us when she needs to go. She is also starting to make us leave the bathroom so she can do it “all by myself”.

Since they have the small porcelain potty at school, Alice has always refused to use the small plastic potty training potty.  At first, I had to hold her up on the toilet, then we graduated to her using a step stool to help her get up, but now, she is getting to be a pro.  She can skooch her little butt up on the toilet without any help, and will perch there precariously.  She has only fallen in once ;-) and we joke about it now.  I tell Alice, "be careful, don't fall in the potty" and Alice will smile back and say, "mommy - I fall in the potty......No!!!!" 

We still need help at night, and even with pull ups over her panties at night we have accidents, but she is very proud on the mornings she is still dry.

Diapering was never really all that bad and the funny thing is that I think I will actually miss it. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chase Me

We play chase alot.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alice, the puppy wolf.

Alice has been "reading" books much more lately.  She has a stack of them that she has been carrying between rooms.  We'll work through the stack a few times, she likes to "read" them to me :-)

The last couple of days she has been loving the "big bad wolf".  This morning she turns to me and said, "I'm the big bad wolf daddy".  So I asked her who I was, "You're riding hood, daddy".  She quickly became the "puppy wolf", and we played "puppy wolf" and "riding hood" for a good while this morning.  Good times :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday Night, Pizza Night!

Alice learned early that she loves pizza.  This led to responses of "pizza!" whenever asked what she wanted to eat.

Dad:  What do you want for breakfast Alice?
Alice:  Pizza! (followed by short pizza dance)

Dad and Mom needed to let Alice know that pizza is a treat and not something anyone should eat every day, especially for breakfast.  Our solution was to officially designate Friday night as pizza night.  She could get her yummy pizza predictably (plus let us off the hook to cook after work on Friday).  So we began responding to every request for pizza with, "Friday night is pizza night, you'll have to wait until then" or something like that.

This has seemed to work well as she no longer asks for pizza for breakfast.  Its still the dinner that gets her most excited and she loves hearing that dinner is pizza on our drive home from school on Friday.

Alice also gets excited for "Parties!" where she often gets pizza.  Just mentioning that we are going to a party gets her energized and she'll run for the door to get her shoes yelling, "Come on daddy".  She often encourages me to get out the door faster.  I'm not sure if this excitement is for possible party pizza or just for party fun.  Since she mostly plays with us at parties, I'm guessing its in large part due to possible party pizza (and cake of course but that is for another post).

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It's been a few weeks since my last post.  Things have been really busy at the Bickel household ;-)

We had our annual Independence Day weekend over the 4th of July weekend.  With Patra's twins being so young this year, and the weather also not being very cooperative, we decided to have a get together in Dallas this year. 

We spent Saturday over at Aunt Sissy's house, and Alice played with her cousins Jackson, Joci and Jules.  We got in the pool, and had a relaxing(ish) ;-) visit.  Alice got 1/2 year birthday presents from her Gammy and Paw-Paw and from the Miesse Clan.

Her lunch consisted of tortilla chips and chocolate cup cakes ;-)

On Sunday, we had a Meadows/Philips/Jacksons get together.  We had (1) 3 year old - Jackson, (1) two year old (Alice), (2) one year olds - Cooper and Case and (2) 2 month olds - Chris and Sean. 

 Of course there were the adults too.....All the kids played well together, and Chris and Sean were just passed along from female to female.

We have had a few illnesses in the past few months too.  First, we thought she had Roseola, but it turned out to be an intravirus.  Then, she was sent home with "slap cheep" aka Fifth Disease and a few weeks later she caught the Hand Foot and Mouth Disease from a kid in her class.  The Hand Foot and Mouth illness was the worse sickness we have had to deal with yet.  Alice got all her blisters in her mouth and couldn't/wouldn't swallow.  It was too painful, so she held the saliva in her mouth until it drooled all over her clothes and all over mom's too.  We were worried she would get dehydrated because she wouldn't eat or drink anything.  She was in pain and there was nothing we could do about it....it was really heartbreaking.  Luckily, there was only 1 really horrible day and two not so bad days.  This pic was taken on day 3 on the illness, so youcan see she was starting to feel better!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kiddie Acres

We took Alice to Kiddie Acres this morning for her first trip to an amusement park.
We met our friend Tavo there, and he brought his daughter Izzy.

Alice chose to ride the boats first.  She was very good at staying in her seat, and she enjoyed dipping her hand in the water.  She enjoyed this ride the most, and asked to ride it two more times.

Second, the girls rode the Jeeps.  As Larry has pointed out, all the ride look much better in the photos than they did in real life, but the girls thought they were fun anyways. 

Third, was Alice's first pony ride.  The attendant took Alice's ticket and asked if she could pick her up to take her to the horse, and to our AMAZEMENT....she said yes, and outstretched her arms.  I guess anyone with a pony is alright in Alice's book.

Next, Alice and Daddy rode the carousel.  Alice is a pro at the carousel, since Didi has taken her to one a couple of times before, but it was her first ride with her dad, which makes it special.

After the carousel, Alice rode the planes.  We think this was her least favorite, since she had a concerned look on her face the entire time she was on the ride, but she sat still and soaked it all in.

Mom took Alice and Izzy up on the Ferris Wheel.  Luckily there was a 200 lb maximum weight limit, and the girls aren't that heavy yet ;-)  Alice liked it when the ride stopped us at the top and we could see over the trees.  Alice noticed we were "really really high". 

We were there for only 1 hour, but it was an action packed hour, and we were all already tired.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brief Notes

Note 1:  Alice Likes Pizza
Alice likes pizza.  Last week, when asked what she wanted for breakfast she said, "pizza!" three mornings out of five.  She didn't get it for breakfast (maybe on vacation but not a school day).

Note: 2:  Alice is Talking More
Alice is talking so much more.  She is picking up words at an increasingly fast rate and putting them together into short functional sentences, at least when she feels like it :)  Her greater vocabulary range allows for much more conversation, like"what did you do at school today".   "Paint!"  Of course we knew she had painted since her finger nails were dark blue around the edges, but its so nice hearing her pick something to relay and be excited about it.

Note 3:  Alice Told Daddy, "I love you"
Alice told me she loved me for the first time this morning.  Its June 15th and my daughter loves me.  I am so happy.  I've never had a greater compliment except when my wife agreed to marry me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Miss "Independence"

Over the past few months, it had become very apparent that Alice has an opinion....specifically about what she wears.  Most mornings are a fight with tears to get her dressed because Alice only wants to wear 1 of 3 Alice-approved dresses.....and there is a ranking to which dress is her favorite, second favorite and third acceptable dress.  (#1 is "My Pink", #2 in "My Blue, and #3 is "My Lello"

She also is very specific about her shoes. She hates new shoes. Alice has to be the one to pick out new shoes because if SHE does not pick them out, you are never going to get them on her feet! Her favorite shoes are her "blwown shues". Since she started walking we have bought her the same style Buster Brown shoe. She has had this specific brown shoe with a velcro strap and a butterfly cut-out for 5 sizes.

The last pair I bought were a size 8, and when I went to buy the new shoes, I found out they are now discontinued. Luckily, I found the last pair in a size 8 on the clearance rack. I looked to see if I could buy the same shoe online, but it really is discontinued and could not find any larger sizes to pre-buy for the inevitable time she outgrows the size 8. I forsee a traumatic event in my future when Alice needs new brown shoes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beach Baby - Padre Trip #3

Alice's 3rd trip to Padre was the most fun for her yet.  When she was 9 months old....she couldn't really enjoy it.  When she was 18 months old, it was cold and windy, so not alot of beach time.  This year, at 27 months...with beautiful weather, she had a blast.
We arrived early evening on Sunday.  After a 6 hour car ride, we were all tired, but Alice was great on the car trip down.  She really is a great traveler.  We settled in for the evening, had dinner and watched DVD's.  Alice went to sleep and slept better than usual.
The next morning we got up and lazed around the condo for a while.  At some point we piled in the car and went to McDonalds for breakfast.  After breakfast we decided to take Alice down to the beach. 
We tried to put her swimsuit on her, but she would have none of it.  She wanted to wear her blue dress and was not going to be dissuaded, so we relented and headed down to the water. 
 She was tentative about the sand at first, but within minutes, she was running around and heading for the water. 
Alice ran up and back with the surf, she stomped and squeeled with delight, she kicked over sandcastles, ran after birds, collected and tossed seashells into the water. 

It was so much fun to watch her.  We repeated this every morning we spend in Padre.  Mornings were spent on the beach and afternoons were spent lazing in the condo.  
Tuesday evening we decided to venture out of the condo and went to Pier 19.  We decided to try and eat dinner there since it was outside and not crowded, so Alice could run around if she wanted to. 
Alice sat in mamma's lap and ate cheese sticks and then took fried shrimp out of my hand and proceeded to eat several bites...including the tail! 
It was one of our more enjoyable dinners out with Alice in current memory.
We headed back to Austin Wednesday afternoon, knowing Patra's twins could be born any day and hoped to get some time at home before heading to Dallas for their birth (which btw happened the next week on May 4th)
This is my favorite picure from the trip.  Her exuberant joy is so apparent!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Austin Zoo

Sunday afternoon Alice and mommy went on an impromptu visit to the Austin Zoo.  Alice had not taken a nap that day, and I figured I would drive her around to see if she would catch a few Z's.  I started driving out towards the Austin Zoo thinking that if she fell asleep, I would just keep cruisin the hill country, but if she did not fall asleep, we would run around the Zoo for a few hours.  Booger Bear did not fall asleep, so we paid our fee and entered the Austin Zoo.
Alice was less interested in the animals, but more interested in seeing other kids and running around and climbing up the guard rails.  She did enjoy seeing the big CATS though.  She kept pointing and saying "kitty", and when they kept sleeping as though she wasn't there - she would yell "WAKE UP!"
They also had a train to ride...so of course we had to ride.  Alice enjoyed the ride, and the scenery was nice, but I wouldn't recommend the train to adults or older kids.  To make the ride more interesting....they had cut-outs of alien landings, faireys and gnomes, pirates, etc.  All the cut-outs were old and weather worn and made the ride kinda stupid, but the smaller kids liked pointing out the cuts-outs, so i guess they performed at an extreemly minimal level.

Overall, the trip was enjoyable and we will travel back out to the Austin Zoo again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are you ready for a Montage...a montage?

 Action shots from Alice's days at School

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alice's BIG weekend

This weekend Aunt Sissy brought cousin Juliette to visit Alice.  This was the first time Alice has been old enough to really play with her cousin.  Juliette is just over 2 years older than Alice, and Alice thought she was the coolest. 

The two girls played great together.  Juliette was gracious in understanding that Alice was younger and giving in to her two year old demands.  Alice was good in letting Juliette play with her toys without saying "mine" to everything.
Aunt Sissy brough Alice the play kitchen Joci and Jules have loved for several years.  Now Alice has her "New Kitchen".  The first night, the two girls plays together in her room with "the New Kitchen" for several hours.  Juliette showed Alice how everything worked.  After they played themselves out in the "New Kitchen" the girls retired to the TV room and watched several episodes of Max and Ruby laying together on the blow-up bed. 

Alice kept telling Daddy to "go-way daddy"....she was hanging out with her big cousin Jules, and didn't want us hovering.  Bed time was very late for the two girls.  Alice finally agreed to go to her bed around 10:00.
The next morning we went for the Bickel tradition of driving around eating donut holes and coffee.  We happened past a couple garage sales, and I picked up a couple of toys for Alice and some for Patra's boys.  Around 11:00 we headed downtown.  Our original plan was to go ride the Zilker Park Train, but there was an event going on and crowds and parking conspired against us.  Instead we took the girls to the Parmer Event Center Park. 

They have a spiral hill and water park/fountain.  Alice absolutely LOVED the fountains.  She ran around and got wet and splashed in the shallow pools.  Of course, some strange little boy started following her around (this often happens, especially at McDonalds Playlands).  Jules got to ride her scooter down the spiral hill, and also got a bit wet.

Alice continued to mimic her big cousin throughout the day.  They ate pizza for dinner, played in the yard and watched shows together.  Aunt Sissy and Jules left Sunday after breakfast, but their influence lives on....Alice now wants to be pushed "really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really high" on the swing like Juliette was always saying ;-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The weather is great!

The weather is getting better and better for playing outside, and since the time change, we have more time in the evening to enjoy it.
Things to do outside:
Swing - sometimes for a hour at a time.  She also likes to dictate who gets to swing next to her "mommy wing!" or "daddy wing".
Slide - everyone slides - alice, mommy, daddy, baby (doll), pablo, tyrone, uniqua, tasha, austin, etc...
Sand / water table - everyone has their own assigned "cup" and "poon" (as assigned by Alice).
Chase - its a procession of Alice and Daddy being chased by the "monster" aka....mommy pulling the blue randomly honking car (how did mommy become the monster?????)
Ring-around the Rosies - we all spin around and fall down....then wrestle with Alice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bye Bye Crib Part II

There is always some bad with the good.  The good is that Alice will not fall out of her bed again....the bad is that she can get out of bed anytime she wants.
Since the new toddler bed, weekend nap times have been non-existent and night time is a struggle to get a little girl to go to sleep.  Once asleep, she sleeps fine....it's the going to sleep that is the problem.
The "other" problem is the paci....The paci is suppose to be a sleeping aid only, but with the new bed, it is harder and harder to manage the situation.  We will have to lose it soon.  Not looking forward to it, but it is inevitable.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bye Bye Crib

This past Sunday, Alice finally did what I had been imagining for a while....she climbed out of her crib and fell on the hardwood floor.  Larry and I had been discussing for a while what we were going to do for Alice's next bed...should we get a temporary toddler bed, or go ahead and buy her the twin bed set that would be her bedroom suite until she went away to college.
We thought we would have a few more months - or at least weeks - to make our decision, but last Sundays traumatic event  pushed the issue to a decision.  We decided to go the toddler bed route.  That gives us time to decide on what we wanted to eventually buy for her permanent bedroom suite.
We put the toddler bed together today and disassembled the crib.  Alice was both excited about the bed, and a little concerned about the demise of her crib.  There were tears, and some tantrums, but we finally proceeded with the normal bedtime routine (started a little late...) - bath, tv show on mom's lap, and then off to bed.  Alice fell asleep within 5 minutes in her new bed with her head and tigger's head atop a pillow for the first time.  We'll see how the night goes, but fingers crossed for an uneventful night.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Uncle Paul

Dear Uncle Paul,
I heard that you wanted to know what I've been up to.  Its raining here in Austin, so I haven't been able to play outside today.  I hear it is raining in Dallas too and you are bored.  As you can see, I've been trying to entertain myself at school.  At least there is a little slide I can play on.  As you can see, my friends Oliver and NeNe are building a tower of blocks behind me.  I plan to go over and knock it over as soon as they finish building it...hehehehe.  NeNe is kinda my boyfriend.  He's the reason I let mom put clothes on me and go to school, but please don't tell him....I don't want him to think that just because he can get the prettiest girl in pre-school to like him now...it might be a rude awakening by the time he's in High school that he may not have ended up being all that cool.  Its a pity to peak in pre-school.
Love, Alice

Friday, January 22, 2010

Alice's 2nd Birthday Party

I decided to have a small birthday party to celebrate Alice's 2nd birthday.  Nothing fancy, just a playdate with a few friends and cake.  We invited Sammy, Lilly and Izzy.  Since Izzy's mom is a pastery chef who works at our local HEB bakery, I asked if she would make Alice's cake

Since Alice is in her Nemo phase, I asked the cake to be Nemo themed.  Imagine my surprise and delight when Tavo delivered the cake for Alice's birthday.  It was fantastic and more than I ever dreamed..I was thinking it would be nemo shaped, but this was fabulous!  And it tasted delicious.

We had cheese, fruit and chips for the kids to eat while they played outside.  Her sandbox was a hit and they all played side by side in the sandbox for a while.  They also took turns swinging on Alice's new playscape.

We brought the cake out and Alice just about freaked!  She grabbed Dori off the cake first, and we had to hold her back from sticking her hands all in the cake.  We sang happy birthday and I cut the cake.  The cake was so big, we only ate the first tier.  Mom and Dad's co-workers got to enjoy the bottom layer the next week.

Alice enjoyed eating the cake.  She insisted on feeding herself at first, but later let us give her additional mouthfuls as she ran around and played.

The playdate birthday was over, but Alice was full of cake, dirty beyond normal limits and happy.
Happy Birthday Sugar Bear
Mom and Dad love you!