Wow! There goes January... The little ones are now 3 and a half months old. Unbelievable! Their gestational age is about 6 weeks old, but I think that they are developing just fine and aren't really too far behind as the doctors said they might be. They both just smiled for the FIRST time this last week! And I mean a REAL deal smile. Like when they recognized that it was me next to their little face and they grinned from ear to ear... Man, that felt really nice. I love being their world. :)
Kevin and I are writing this post together. It's been awhile since we've done that! We've had a lot of people ask us about the babies' names and how we chose them and what they mean. So we thought that we would post about each kiddo and do some explaining. (why do I feel like I ALWAYS have some explaining to do? he he)
We'll start with Mr. Liam Stanford Smith.
Our little boy and our little joy. He is the ultimate Smith guy! Very laid back, very easy going, and he loves football and basketball already. He was on Daddy's lap last night when the 49's lost, and they both cried. Ha!... yeah. Liam, like his sister, has many nicknames. And some of them sound very much like he's a viking...
Liam the LipSmacker
Liam the Laid Back
Liam the Bubble Blower (ALWAYS has a bubble or two on his little lips)
Liam the Love Cub
Li (like "Lee")
Li-ster (like "Lee-ster)
The Spare Heir
Fantastic Hair Man
Just to name a few... I'm sure that I've forgotten some! Anyway, I took these pictures for his 3 month milestone and wanted to share them as Kevin explains his name. Enjoy!
.... enter Kevin:
So we wanted to do a couple of entries regarding the meaning of the babies' names. The reason why it has taken so long is because Nicole asked me to do the blog entries ;) I decided to start with the older of the two babies (by one minute... but it still counts!). An entry for the girl will hopefully follow in a few days.
According to the very informative Wikipedia entry, "Liam is a short form of the Irish Gaelic name Uilliam" the Irish equivalent of William. I found it interesting that “[u]ntil the end of the 18th century, Liam was virtually unknown outside Ireland” until the mass exodus of Irish as a result of the potato famine in the 1850s.
It means "helmet of will" or "strong protector." I guess we just liked it. I've always liked the name Will, but given my last name, the combination probably wasn't going to happen. (NOTE from Nicole: We considered Liam for Noah... but we felt like he was supposed to be Noah. But we've loved the name Liam for a long time).
Liam's middle name is from my great, great grandfather, Joseph Stanford Smith (though apparently he mainly went by Stanford). Stanford Smith and his family were living in Cedar City in southwest Utah when he accepted the assignment to settle "the San Juan country" in the Colorado River basin of the remote southeast corner of Utah as part of theSan Juan Expedition. As the expedition moved east across southern Utah, they eventually found themselves surrounded by the 1200-foot cliffs of Glen Canyon. After some exploring, they settled on creating a road out of an existing narrow slit in the canyon that would become known as Hole in the Rock.
Of the many tellings of the events of Hole in the Rock, I think this one (adapted from David E. Miller, "Hole-in-the-Rock: An Epic in the Colonization of the Great American West," 1959) is pretty good:
With blasting powder and tools, working most of December and January of
1879-80, they (pioneers) cut a precipitous, primitive road into the face of
the canyon precipice.
With this roadbed ...the task was now to get the first 40 wagons down the
Twenty men and boys would hold long ropes at the back of each wagon. The
wheels were then brake-locked with chains, allowing them to slide (while)
avoiding the catastrophe of the wheels actually rolling.
In one of the great moments of pioneer history, one by one the company
took the wagons down the treacherous precipice. When, miracle of miracles,
they reached the canyon floor, they eagerly started to ferry across the river
with a flatbed boat they had fashioned for that purpose. As it turned out, the
Joseph Stanford Smith family was the last wagon to descend that day.
Stanford Smith had systematically helped the preceding wagons down, but
somehow in their one-by-one success and consequent disappearance, the
others apparently forgot that Brother Smith's family would still need help as
the tail enders. Deeply disturbed that he and his family seemed abandoned,
... (Stanford) stood for a moment and looked down the treacherous "Hole."
(He) turned to his wife and said, "Belle, I am afraid we can't make it."
"We must make it," she replied.
"If we only had a few men to hold the wagon back we might make it," he
"I'll do the holding back. We will make it," she said.
Positioning herself behind the wagon, Belle Smith grasped the reins of the
horse hitched to the back of the rig.
Stanford started the team down the "Hole." The wagon lurched downward.
With the first jolt the rear horse and Sister Smith were literally catapulted
into the air. Recovering, she hung back, pulling on the lines with all her
strength and courage. A jagged rock cut a cruel gash in her leg from heel to
hip. The horse behind the wagon fell to his haunches. The half-dead animal
was literally dragged most of the way down the incline. That gallant woman,
clothes torn, with a grievous wound, hung on to those lines with all her
might and faith, and with her husband muscled that wagon the full length
of the incline all the way to the river's edge.
On reaching the bottom, and almost in disbelief at their accomplishment,
Stanford immediately raced (1,300) feet back up to the top of the cliff
fearful for the welfare of the children. When he climbed over the rim, he
saw his three children literally unmoved from the position their mother
had placed them in.
Carrying the baby, with the other two children clinging to him and to each
other, he led them down the rocky (path) to their anxious mother below. At
that point, in the distance they saw five men moving toward them carrying
chains and ropes.
The Smiths had been missed from the larger party. Realizing the plight they
were in, these men were coming to help.
Stanford called out, "Forget it fellows ... (Belle) here is all the help a (man)
needs (to make this journey)."
The baby in the story above is my great grandfather.
This account contains some pictures and maps if you're interested.