As soon as we walked through the two sets of doors and into the butterfly garden, my camera fogged up from the humidity.
The light kept changing and the butterflies were moving fast.
In short, taking pictures was haaaard.
But I persevered. And I relied heavily on the iPhoto editing features to fix things up for me.
We wandered around the butterfly garden for a while, looking at the little creatures flying all around us and stopping to admire the water features and the turtles. It was a nice way to spend the morning.
Matt taught Alice a great word today: "happy". She says it exactly right, pronouncing both syllables correctly. When I hear her say it, I feel like we're getting a sneak peek into an older, more verbal Alice. An Alice who will tell us exactly what she wants instead of just pointing urgently and whining "uuuuuuuh". One who says "water" instead of "wawa", "noodle" instead of 'nunu" and "milk" instead of "milk-a".
It's funny how sometimes, she seems all baby. Like today when our three-year-old neighbor walked right up and pushed her down. And Alice just fell on the ground and started crying. It was one of those awful cries that starts out just as a soundless, open mouth and shimmering, tear-filled eyes for a few seconds until she can get enough air to really begin to bawl. But other times, like when I put on her coat to go outside and she eagerly instructs me to "zip!" and then reminds me to grab my "purse! purse!", she seems like a kid. A kid with opinions and ideas and preferences.
Last week we were at a little art workshop with some other children. I looked over to the corner to see Alice staring intently at a little boy whom she had never met. She tenderly stroked his cheek and then leaned in for a kiss. Other times, she's not so outgoing. This afternoon, when another mom offered Alice an apple, her only reaction was to furrow her brow and look down at the ground, as if looking at the lady directly was too embarrassing or scary to contemplate. (And it wasn't that she didn't want the apple; she accepted it readily from me.)
When we put Alice to bed at night, as soon as we start to move from the rocker to the crib, and even before we've finished uttering the words "good night", she starts to cry. She seems sad that the fun of the day is over and also indignant at having no control over the situation. Even so, on some nights, mid-cry and as upset as she is, she manages to wail out "byyyyye" to Matt or me as we're tucking her in, and sometimes even forces her mouth to pucker into a kiss, and it's clear that she's trying so hard to fight her instinct just to give in to the tears and keep crying.
I suppose as time goes on, I'll see fewer flashes of the baby and more of the kid. Soon, the wordless whines will give way to worded whines and then, hopefully, to just words (followed by "please", please). As for the other stuff, whether she'll be shy or outgoing, tender or tough, stoic or dramatic, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.