Wednesday, December 23, 2009

we're alive ...

... I just don't have a lot of time on the computer these days. :)

Back after the holidays with pictures and details about life with two!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Audrey Jane is here!

Audrey Jane
born 12/7/2009
5:01 p.m.
7 pounds 9 ounces
18 3/4"

Pictures and more details to come!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

new teeth

Olivia had her big dentist appointment today. I almost cancelled it at the last minute, because the pediatric dentist's policy is not to allow parents in the back while they're doing lengthy treatments and I thought it would be way too traumatic for Olivia. I'd been dreading it for weeks.


As it turned out, it was mostly traumatic --- for me. She said "mama!" a couple of times when the dental assistant came out to get her, and apparently cried for a couple of minutes, but then settled down and was a total trooper for the rest of her appointment (which lasted almost 2 hours). They cleaned her teeth, applied a sealant, and then covered the teeth with plastic veneers to protect them from decay and make them look more like her teeth did pre-ceramic tile accident.


The dentist and her assistants talked about ice cream a lot during the appointment, and Olivia's reaction was always, "mmmm!" or "num num!" each time they mentioned it. (They gave us a coupon for a free ice cream cup at Chik-Fil-A that we redeemed on the way home.) She also apparently told them that we already had our Christmas tree up and that the lights were blue. She may have been thinking about helping me put up the outdoor lights over the weekend, though who knows!

They gave her a stuffed bear wearing an "I love my dentist" shirt, and she carried it around for most of the day. The only thing she says about her appointment is that the dentist looked at her teeth and that they're clean and shiny. So ... lifetime trauma averted, I think.


Before:


After:

Monday, November 16, 2009

seriously slacking - 36 weeks

I'm 36 weeks pregnant today, which means 4 weeks left (if I'm lucky). I alternate between wanting to get it over with already and wanting to keep this kid in forever so nothing changes. I've become accustomed to not being able to bend over and breathe at the same time, to the unpredictable, sharp stabbing pains that occasionally shoot from my back to my hip down my leg, causing me to suddenly lurch forward like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This random pain doesn't care if I'm at home, trying to carry a 25-pound toddler up the stairs, or merely strolling around at Target minding my own business.

What I'm no longer accustomed to is an hour of straight sleep being considered a luxury. All the various discomforts of recovering from a 40-week gestational process in which a human being ... you know, comes out of your body. The profuse sweating that ensues upon hearing a tiny little baby screaming and screaming for no reason. Thinking that
your breast pump talks to you.

These days, I wake up around 3am with a strange desire to go downstairs and vacuum the kitchen floor. I often worry about how we're going to permanently ruin Olivia's life and how she's still just a baby and needs our attention.

But I'm sure that just like I did with Olivia, I'll muddle through somehow. I'll get used to not sleeping again, though hopefully it won't be a year-long stretch this time around. I'll wear the dark undereye circles as badges of honor. If nothing else, maybe people will take pity and come over bearing coffee.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

miscellaneous cuteness

Just jotting these down so I don't forget:


"I hear wick-wick!" (music)


da-der-roo = kangaroo


makey da play-doh (makey da brown rabbit, makey da chicken eggs, makey da pink OE)


bite of water


_______ very tasty! (most recently, I was in the shower and heard her saying, "Mmm! Ice cream cone very tasty! Num num!" When I peeked around the shower curtain, I saw her with a (closed) jar of Mentholatum in her mouth. Ack.)


soooooo many birds!


daddy pick it up now

Friday, November 13, 2009

21 months old: first time out

I need to start by saying that Olivia is officially 21 months old as of 11/7! I missed taking pictures last weekend, even. Along those lines, I can sort of tell that she's inching closer to being 2 years old these days. Case in point:

She had her very first (and surely not even close to the last) time out on Monday. I gave her a bowl of mac and cheese with a few peas mixed in -- this girl has GOT to learn to eat veggies! -- and after a few bites, she promptly started throwing her food everywhere: against the garage door, into her play area in the dining room, and even managed to get some from the dining room into the kitchen. I asked her to stop, I counted to three ... and she kept doing it. And laughing. And then smacked my hands away when I tried to remove the bowl of offending food. Yeah, Mommy don't play that.

I told her she was going to have a time out because we don't throw our food and it's bad manners. I turned her booster chair facing the door, set the microwave timer for a minute, and waited.

There was an acknowledgement of the wrongdoing: "Noooooooo throwing food. Noooooo."

Then the anger phase set in: "DOWN NOW! DOWN! NOW!" she screamed in a voice that sounded straight out of a scene from The Exorcist.

And finally, our first spousal disagreement about discipline. He thought I was being too hard on her and that she didn't know why she was in time out. I told him 1 minute in a chair wasn't going to kill her, and besides, maybe it was ME who needed a time out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

always an adventure

We took Olivia along with us while we went shopping for a new bed. She was trying very hard to be patient and doing a good job of it for a 20-month-old, but was starting to come a bit unwound: it was close to dinner time, she'd been in her stroller for a while, and she hadn't napped that day. Yeah, our bad for even attempting a shopping excursion on a day like that.

We let her out of the stroller to run around a bit, but there's really only so much you can do to keep a toddler from climbing on all the furniture (with sticky fingers, of course) or smearing all the glass coffee tables, so we had to pick her up and hold her. The furniture salesperson sees me trying to hold my super-wiggly child and comes over to chat. It went a little something like this:

saleswoman: Hi, Olivia! What are you doing?

Olivia [ramming finger up nose and grinning]: I PICKING MY NOSE!!!

In true Olivia style, this was said at top volume, and I don't doubt that most of the store heard her jubilant exclamation. Several people nearby chortled; one customer walking past our area stopped and bent over at the waist laughing. Yep, that's my kid!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

fall fun




Saturday, October 10, 2009

pictures

Saying cheese (you can kind of see the chipped tooth here):

10/7/2009, 20 months old:

Her first attempt at sitting in her "OE big girl chair." The high chair, constantly in our way and the cause of a million stubbed toes, has been banished to the basement.

Who is this big girl?

Friday, October 9, 2009

20 months old (two days late)

Olivia is 20 months old! She was a dainty 24 pounds 4 ounces (40th percentile) for weight at her well-baby checkup this week, and half an inch shy of three feet tall -- 35.5" (98th percentile). I bought her some Old Navy jeans in 18-24 month size, and they fall right off. It's no wonder: they're meant for kids 33-36" tall, but also 27-34 pounds.



I have cute photos to post, but Blogger isn't cooperating. More to come ...

Friday, October 2, 2009

hip-hop baby


In an effort to wean her from the need to listen to Baby Signing Time songs (disclaimer: LOVE BST -- those DVDs are seriously fabulous!) in the car, I started a rotation of songs I could tolerate. Of those, Olivia has latched on to two that she wants to hear constantly:

"Single Ladies" -- Beyonce (surely you've seen the "Single Babies" viral video on YouTube ...)

"Gold Digger" -- Originally Kanye West's, but Olivia prefers the version from Glee instead.

So now instead of hearing the plaintive wails of "Baby Time? Peeeese? Baby Time NOW!" I'm treated to requests/commands to hear "Dingle Lay-Lees? DINGLE LAY-LEEEEEEEEEEEES!" or "Goh Diggle!" from my little backseat DJ.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

tooth trauma

It's taken me nearly a week to recover from *my* trauma enough to finally post about it.

On Sunday evening, right after dinner, I got Olivia out of her high chair and was right behind her when she fell. It happened so quickly that I didn't have time to reach out and catch her (oh, the guilt!) and she didn't have time to try to catch herself with her hands. Face met ceramic tile. There was the telltale moment of silence where you know that either they're totally fine or screaming is about to ensue in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Ah yes, there it is.

I picked her up and she was holding her mouth. When she moved her hand, I saw the blood. A lot of it. At that point, I was doing a decent job of remaining calm when I noticed something white on her lip. A piece of her tooth. Her front tooth.

Hello freakout.

The pediatric dentist she saw once for her checkup was out of town for a week, so I called their emergency backup dentist from a different practice. I think the call went something like:

surly: Hi, Dr. Phillips. My daughter is a patient of Dr. Carol's, but she's out of town. A few minutes ago she ... she [voice shaking] fell ... on the tile [embarrasing crying begins]

dentist: Oh, please don't cry! It's ok. Can you tell me what happened?

surly: [crying worse from hearing sympathetic voice on phone] Her tooth! [deep breath to attempt to compose self]

I believe I said something about being pregnant/hormonal/crazy and told her I was going to put my husband on the phone. Look up "calm under pressure" in an encyclopedia and you'll see my photo, folks.

Long story short, we took her in the next day. X-rays showed that the roots seem to be fine, but she has a 2nd-degree fracture of one front tooth, exposing the pulp, and chipped the enamel off the other front tooth. We go back in 6 weeks to have her rechecked and discuss possible restoration of the tooth so she doesn't get cavities. I just assumed they'd pull a baby tooth, but apparently they like them to stay in as long as possible to serve as a placeholder for the adult teeth.

She's a trooper and really hasn't complained at all about it, other than when she whacked her face with her baby doll and caused the bleeding to start up again right after we'd gotten it under control the first time. I haven't been able to get a pic of the snaggletooth yet, but will of course keep trying.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

scary things

There must be a lot to be afraid of when you're 19 months old. Olivia continues to proclaim lots of things to be scary ("Oooooh, that's-a scarrrrrreeeeee!). Among them:

* a purple and green polka dot elephant toy. We should probably just put it away, because it apparently haunts her toybox and she hates when we even open the lid.

* having her diaper changed when the changing pad cover is in the wash. Tears and everything.

* green beans. She'll eat the pureed stuff (yuck), but put a whole one on her tray? Terrifying!

* putting toys away. We asked her to put her toys away before bed. Her reply? "No toys away. That's-a scarrrrreeee!"

I think she might be playing us.

Monday, September 7, 2009

19 months old!

Our big girl! These are from earlier in the weekend on my birthday and today. Truly, how did she get to be so big?

mid wave

hamming it up during dinner



She met some new friends at the park today: Oggie, aka Audrey, and Ah-duh-wan, aka Allison. They liked her bucket and shovel, and she shared graciously (as graciously as a toddler can share, anyway). Ah-duh-wan set a bad example by shoveling handfuls of pebbles into her mouth; Olivia attempted to follow suit but only briefly sucked on a pinecone instead.

I keep meaning to post something separate about Baby #2, but always end up forgetting. So, an update: I'm 26 weeks today. Baby is a girl, healthy as far as all the available Testing for Very Elderly Pregnant Ladies can tell (triple screen, level 2 ultrasound) and is so far without a name. I'm in serious denial that she'll be here before the end of the year, which will also cut about 15 days from my usual "only X shopping days until Christmas" panic.

I also have some serious guilt already about how I'm surely ruining Olivia's life as she knows it ... and mine. She finally sleeps through the night after a miserably long year of little sleep and then we go and do this? I just keep reminding myself that I have a sister who I adore and can't imagine life without, and any therapy I've needed in my lifetime has had nothing to do with her. ;)

Friday, September 4, 2009

words and phrases

I wanted to jot these down while I was thinking of them. Her vocabulary is changing every day -- it's wild how one day she pronounces something one way, and the next morning she can actually say the word. This age is so much fun. :)

uppy-down = upside down

ba-ba-boo = peek-a-boo, said in a really high-pitched voice

uht = elephant (this one is extra funny to me, because she says iguana and lawnmower and other words just fine)

ah-deh-poos = octopus. Probably my my favorite word of hers right now.

She used to say bagel in the cutest way: bab-eeeel, sort of with a French accent. Now she just says bagel.

OK is still ah-dey.

airplane recently went from meh-mayne to ah-plenne.

She just looked at the squirrel hanging off the birdfeeder and yelled, "Get down, squirrel!" And this morning when I asked her if she remembered her new schoolbus toy we bought her yesterday, she said, "Ohhhhhhhhhh! New kool-bus! Et, daddy!" (Et is how she says thanks; she always accompanies it with the baby sign.)

She likes to look at ants on the ground, but doesn't touch and instead looks at me seriously and says, "Ants alone!" When I reply that yes, it's nice to leave ants alone, she follows that up with "Bees alone!" Oh yeah. Not going to argue her on that one at all. The less bug touching, the better.

If I tell her that we're going somewhere in the car, she replies, "Mama Starbucks!" I don't know whether to be embarrassed, proud, or both. She's already succumb to the branding, I guess.

In an attempt to wean her from having to constantly hear Baby Signing Time songs in the car (while fabulous, and I'd recommend the DVDs to anyone, I started to feel like if I heard those songs one more time, blood might gush from my ears), we began hyping up music we like by exuberantly saying "yeah," "uhh!" and "woo hoo" during those songs. Now she does it unprompted -- and let me tell you, listening to your 18-month-old uh-huh and yeah along to a Jay-Z song makes the heart proud. :P

Sunday, August 30, 2009

catching up

I've been sick for over a week with a cold and have been EXTRA slacky about updating lately. On the plus side, freelance work is picking back up and I passed all the testing and training to become a kgb_ agent, so I've been really busy on top of the my normal pregnant mom chasing a toddler tiredness. :P

Just a few quick things while I feed her breakfast of dah-doze (Cheerios) and dix (Kix).

-- she had her first haircut a couple of weeks ago to remove her glorious rat tail. I thought I might cry, but the crying was all her. She did not enjoy it one bit. They gave me the little tail to take home in a tiny ziploc. Bye-bye, mullet!

-- we went to the zoo the other day, and she's still talking about the animals she saw. She seems to have been most impressed by the polar bear, who she says played peek-a-boo with her.

Olivia-isms that are cracking us up lately:

-- when something scares her, she turns into a guy from a Prego commercial, doing her best Italian accent: "Oooooh, that's-a scaaaarrryyyy!"

-- she has a little ram toy that she calls "I the ram." She asks us what I the ram says, and also puts her Diego figure on top of him and says "Diego riding the ram!" I think I the ram came from me singing "I'm the ram" to the tune of "I'm the map" from Dora. She loves her little people animal set and knows all of the animals, even the iguana (eye-na-na), jaguar, vulture, zebra, and she knows the difference between the rhino and the hippo, both of which look pretty similar to me! While I think her pronunciation is really good for a toddler her age (almost 19 months), she calls and elephant an "ut."

I'm sure there's more, but Miss O, or O.E., as she still calls herself, demands to get down and play. Off we go!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

one toddler, two days, zero naps.

We just got home from a quick overnight trip to Lexington to visit our cousins and their two girls. The trip was great (thank you, portable DVD player!), but our timing was a little off -- we arrived Saturday around naptime and were silly enough to think that she'd go down for her nap in a new house with new playmates and two very exciting dogs. I put her in her pack n' play and went in about 10 minutes later to find that she'd reached the package of wipes on the dresser and filled the PNP with over half of them. I gave up trying to force a nap at that point.

We left before noon today, thinking she might sleep in the car. Again, silly us! We got home at 3:00 and by 5pm, poor Olivia was a mess. Yawning, rubbing her eyes, crying at everything, pulling her hair. I picked her up to console her and she was conked out on my shoulder within 20 seconds. It's going to make for a long night for us, but she's in her crib sleeping right now. It seemed mean and entirely unpleasant for all to try to keep her up until her usual 7pm bedtime.

Maybe she'll be so tired from two days of no napping that she'll sleep through the night? Ha!

Friday, August 7, 2009

18 months old

She's a year and a half old! Unbelievable. I look at her baby pictures and then at her, and it's amazing to me that she's grown into such a little person so quickly.

On 8/7/2009:


And what she does when you ask her to make her "silly face." This expression is also combined with a funny "Ooooooooooooh!" sound for maximum comedic effect. She's a little ham -- wonder where she gets it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

stack 'em up!

video

Olivia learned a new trick -- stacking up little containers of Parkay -- in a restaurant in North Carolina.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

uploading ...

Hi everybody! My mom has been a total slacker and still hasn't uploaded photos from our beach vacation. She promised she's going to work on it this weekend, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 20, 2009

back from the beach

Just a quick post to say that we survived a 14-hour drive to North Carolina and back with a rear-facing toddler in tow.

Olivia had a blast at the beach -- she loved the sand, the ocean, and especially having a built-in adoring audience of Grammy, Grampy, Auntie Rar-Rah and Uncle Na-Na around the clock.

I haven't had a chance to upload photos yet, as I'm still unpacking bags and vacuuming up the sand that seems to be everywhere, but I'll do it soon. My big ultrasound is today at 2 p.m., so I'll try to get those photos scanned and uploaded later as well.

More to come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

17 months old

I can't believe how grown up Olivia is! Over a year and a half old now ... it's so hard to remember her as a tiny, helpless baby now that she has such a developed personality.

She learns something new every day, and she never fails to make me laugh. That's not to say that she's not a handful at times: I'll go ahead and confess to crying out of frustration at dinner last night after she flung the scrambled egg I made for her on the floor and then at me. The kid just won't eat unless it's yogurt/crackers/ some fruit or her new favorite Veggie Booty ("ba-booey").

She's still obsessed with her owies and points them out (though they've long healed) to me and anyone else who will listen several times a day:

O: mama! Owwwwwies.
me: you have an owie?
O: hurt!
me: where does it hurt?
O: leg.
me: oh, your leg?
O: knee!
me: and your knee?
O: eye too!
me: your eye too?
O: Ohhhhhh noooooooo, owies!

Her BFF is our cat Antoy, or Duh-Doy as she likes to call her. We never imagined Antoy could be so patient. She was far from a fan of babies/kids before (and for a while after) Olivia arrived, but now she'll sit and let her try to touch her nose, "pet" her using her toys, and have various foods and sippy cups shoved in her face. I did see Antoy give her a little swat on the head last week -- Antoy was on the bed and Olivia was bothering her nonstop: "Hi Duh-Doy! Duh-Doy, EAT! Hi Duh-Doy! Duh-Doy tail!" O turned the other way for a second and Antoy reached out and gave her a little pat, no claws. Just enough to say, "Lady, it's time to get this 3-foot beast out of my face for a bit." Olivia also loves Nugget/Nuh-Nut, but Nuh-Nut is not really a fan. She pretty much hides during her waking hours.

Since I filmed her counting to 10 video, she's improved -- she can say all the numbers, but skips 7. She still loves to spell her name, and likes watching us write words and draw pictures on her magna doodle.

Friday, July 3, 2009

catching up

Olivia had her first dentist visit this past week. She cried (not a shocker), but seemed to get over the trauma fairly quickly, especially once the dentist gave her a rubber duck. The best part was that she doesn't have any cavities despite her nighttime bottle habit going on a bit too long.

She likes to say her name now, which she pronounces "oh-eeeeee." I find it adorable.

She continues to pick up new words every day, and some of her existing words are morphing into better versions: Elmo has changed from Mo to Mel-Mo, and Dora was Dee but is now Dorrrr-ah. And she's continuing to try out sentences. This morning she said, "Oh nooooo! Baby all wet!"

She's not loving restaurant dining these days -- just ask my family after a particularly feisty experience at PF Chang's this weekend -- but is otherwise a pretty funny, happy kid. I think we'll keep her.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a quick cute thing

Olivia has the cutest new thing she's doing lately. When she wants something, she'll say this:

"mooooore nana? ah-dey!" translation: more banana? ok!

It's like she's asking and answering her own question. Hilarious.

She's also been known to say "More ba-booey (Veggie Booty, her new fave snack)? Ah-dey!" and "Baby (Baby Signing Time, either the songs in the car or the DVD)? Ah-dey!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

baseball or bust: bust

When I heard that Dan's favorite MLB team, the Cincinnati Reds, were playing on Father's Day, I knew what his present was going to be. He's been talking about wanting to go to a game for a long time -- pretty much since Olivia was born -- and I thought FD would be a perfect day for him to take her to her first major league game. I photoshopped a Reds hat onto a picture of O, wrote a cheesy poem about the game, printed it out and stuck it in an SQL Server study book of his that I wrapped up. You should have seen the confusion on his face when he opened it. "SQL Server? Wha--? Uh ... I already have this." Heh.

Through a great connection from a friend (thanks, J!), we were able to get all-inclusive club seats -- we're talking unlimited (oh yeah!) hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers, nachos, fountain drinks, and even pasta with breadsticks or stir fry -- in the shade (a must when you have a baby or are as fair as yours truly) for a steal. The drive is only 2 hours and was pretty much a piece of cake, except that O didn't nap as planned on the way there. Strike one. Actually, make that strike two: strike one would be that she basically refused to eat breakfast, so she was off her game from the start.

It was a bit of hike from the parking garage to the ballpark, but once we got there it was easy to pick up our tickets and find the suites. When we first arrived, I thought maybe we were in the wrong place. It was air conditioned! And did I mention the all-you-can-eat food? Our seats were just a few rows down from the a/c food paradise, so we went and sat down to check them out. No one else was in our row, and we were right on the aisle. Perfect! Except that Olivia was NOT impressed.

Our view:

Olivia's reaction to our view:

I like to call this photo, "Meh." Approximately 1.2 seconds after this photo was taken, all hell broke loose. She commenced with flailing and screaming the likes of which I have never seen before, along with her world-famous sudden limp arm maneuver (SLAM) I may have mentioned previously. Walking with her down the row only served to make her more angry, as I wouldn't let go of her hand so she could fling herself on the sticky ground, eat discarded peanut shells, or catapult herself over the chairs and tumble down the rows below us. I'm SO mean.

I decided it was a good time to let Dan watch a little baseball, so off we went to explore the a/c suite. Translation: I was hungry. I grabbed a hot dog for us to share (Olivia's verdict: meh) and managed to keep her on my lap for most of the time it took me to scarf it down. Then she wanted to run around. The problem was that she had taken off her shoes during Tantrum 1.0 in our seats, so we had to go retrieve them. Enter tantrum 2.0. This was a full upgrade tantrum, you see. Not just mere whining, but eardrum-bursting screaming and actual tears. I felt people beginning to stare.

We went back in the suite, but between carrying the diaper bag and my camera bag and trying to hold her very unwilling-to-be-held hand, I was having a rough time. Enter something I swore I would never use until I had a child: the harness. This:

Mean as it looks, it's actually pretty useful for helping to steer your teetering toddler. But wow, I couldn't believe the stares I was getting. Two of the hot dog vendors were alternating between whispers and staring at us, so I sort of laughed and told them hey, I used to think these were crazy, but you have to do what you have to do (translation: quit staring and serve up some hot dogs, ladies). They said they were debating this issue; one was pro-harness, the other, con. Whatever. I didn't have time to get into it, because Miss O was on the go.

I tried to placate her with a piece of pizza. After one bite, she kicked her foot up on the table, somehow managed to flip the pizza off the plate cheese-side down on the table, then use her sauce-covered shoe to kick me in several places while screaming and trying to get off my lap. She resisted my efforts to clean us both up. The crying escalated and seemed to echo in the suite. People at tables all around us were staring -- only a few faces were sympathetic. I tried reasoning with her. Begging. Bribing with her favorite snacks. No dice. So I did what any normal, calm, level-headed parent would do in that situation.

I cried.

I managed to keep the tears at bay as I gathered up our stuff while barely managing to hold Olivia's arm as she flung herself to the ground dramatically. We walked around and looked out the windows at the boats on the river, and her crying (as well as my desire to fling myself to the ground and sob) slowly started to diminish. Then I saw Dan come in, and I lost it. He was coming in from outside to say that we should probably head home, bless him. That was without knowing that he'd just missed the upgrade to Tantrum 3.0. He was happy he got to see a couple of innings and got a hot dog. I was happy that he was happy, though the disappointment in my big fun surprise not go as planned still stings a little. I guess no one ever said that having kids is fun all of the time. :P

To sum it up:

Tickets: $40
Garage parking: $12
Hours driven: 4
Innings viewed: 3
Free food consumed: 2 hot dogs, 1 order nachos, 1 coke, 1 water, 1 bag peanuts, 1 bite cheese pizza

Tears shed: many

Still, according to Dan, having Olivia conk out on his shoulder as we fled the ballpark for our car was priceless.

Friday, June 19, 2009

evil, wonderful TV

This has been a big week for Olivia -- big because I've allowed her to watch more television than she's probably seen in her entire lifetime thus far.

I went to bed "early" (10:30 p.m.) Monday night with a headache and feeling strangely exhausted. Sometime around 3 a.m. I woke up and noticed that I had a stabbing headache -- the kind where it hurts to move your eyes in any direction and like a small ice pick may have somehow become lodged in your forehead. Tuesday morning brought more of the same, with bonus nausea, sweating and dizziness. I hadn't felt this bad with both pregnancies combined. Something was seriously amiss.

The morning routine of changing O's diaper, carrying her downstairs and putting her in her high chair felt like Herculean tasks. Her breakfast yogurt was overly fragrant and caused me to cover my neck in cold, wet paper towels in the hopes of taming some of the nausea. The normally adorable sounds of her beating on her high chair tray and jibber-jabbering endlessly were causing my brain to ache and my vision to blur. She just wouldn't stop talking, and she doesn't just talk to herself. She says one word over and over, at increasing volume, until you repeat back the word she's saying. I wasn't up for it that morning.

Enter TV. Normally I save it for emergencies, particularly fussy/restless days, or for when I need to clip her nails without hysterics. The Baby Signing Time series absolutely mesmerizes her, and she does learn from it. But lately, we (read: me) have become reeeeeeally tired of the songs, as well as of Miss O's insistence that we play the songs in the car (which she "suggests" with loud shrieks of "Baby? Baby! Baby! BABY! BAY-BEEEEEEE!" over and over and over until we comply). So over the last week or so, I've been trying to wean her from the DVDs so that we don't lose our sanity during an upcoming road trip.

But on this day, I broke into the arsenal. I didn't feel well enough to care. All four DVDs of Baby Signing Time were played. Several episodes of Jack's Big Music Show were screened for her viewing pleasure as well. During this time, I was horizontal on the couch, moaning and watching my temperature creep up into the 100s. My mom came by with Sprite and McDonald's biscuits, and Olivia barely acknowledged her presence. She was in the zone.

I just hope she didn't lose too many IQ points during her day with the evil, wonderful television.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

shiner

I knew it would happen eventually. See her left eyelid? The photos I took don't accurately convey the redness or puffiness of the injury, but in true Olivia style, she doesn't seem to notice.




The culprit?

Apparently the guitar on the Fisher Price Little Superstar Jammin' Band (got all that?) not only plays some mean licks, but also gives you a good licking should you happen to, say, stumble on a pile of books on the floor and then fall on top of it ... with your eye.
Speaking of injuries, Olivia is obsessed with "ouch" and "owie" lately. She fell a few weeks ago and scraped her knee, and even after it healed is still pointing to it, saying "ouch!" and then doing the sign for hurt. She also likes to point out other people's owies as well: "mama owie! awwwwwww."

Friday, June 12, 2009

1, 2, 3, 9, i

Olivia has started counting a little, which she probably picked up from me using "1-2-3" as a countdown for picking her up, tickling her belly, or whatever. But when you ask her to count and start at one, she'll follow with twoooooo, fweeeee, niiiiiiine, and then sometimes throw in a jubilant "i!" at the end. It's pretty hilarious. She still likes to spell her name, but she still won't say the L.

She also just started using two-word sentences today out of the blue. Stuff like "Elmo diaper," "nice baby," and "bye-bye TV." Oh, and this is slightly embarrassing to admit, but we went through a drive-thru this morning and she said, "EAT!" Oops.

Monday, June 8, 2009

16 months!

Actually, it was yesterday and bad mom that I am, I forgot to come on and post about it.

Olivia had her 16-month well-baby visit today. As I predicted, she was not happy about it. The "oh noooooo"s started as soon as we were lead into the examining room, and tears began the moment Dr. Jim walked in. Thankfully, he's pretty unfazed by her flailing/screaming/tears/hysterics. She thankfully skipped the guttural screaming that occurred the last time she was there -- I thought her head might spin around at any moment.

She only gained a pound since her 1-year checkup, so she weighed in at 22 pounds 8 ounces (40th percentile), but she's still going strong in the vertical growth department, measuring 34" (98th percentile). Two inches short of three feet tall at 16 months old ... pretty impressive, but not surprising given some of the serious height on my dad's side of the family.

Once she calmed down, Olivia proudly spelled her name for Dr. Jim, and he declared it "Very impressive. No, wait -- that would be very impressive for a 2-year-old." He noticed how verbal she is and said that she seems to be ahead of the curve for her language skills. That was about it.

She got two vaccines, one in each leg, and wasn't a big fan of that either. I was probably more traumatized than she was, really. We stopped at Burger King on the way home so I could get some comforting fries and a frozen Coke for me, and some tasty mac and cheese and apple slices for Miss O. And no, I didn't share my ruh-ryes. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

a new word to add to the list

word #69 on the "Olivia's Words" spreadsheet I've been keeping: french fry.

Yeah. I shouldn't be surprised that she knows this word, but it still caught me a little off guard. I had a craving for Arby's and grabbed some curly fries with my roast beef. She's never seen curly fries before, yet when I sat down to eat (cutting up a healthy apple for her), she started yelling: "ruh-rye! ruh-rye! ruh-ryeeeeeeeeee!" I gave in and let her have a small bite -- now she says, "Noooooooooo" in her cute little semi-question way when I try to give her apple, then resumes her ruh-rye chant.

Like mother, like daughter ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

too funny not to share

The quality isn't the best -- it's an iPhone photo of a library book, but I think you'll get the gist of it. With props to Harvey Karp, MD and his book "Happiest Toddler on the Block," I present to you concrete, scientific evidence behind the reason for my exhaustion:
If you can't read the legend, it says "Seven clocked minutes of nursery school behavior at different ages." See the upper right-hand box that's circled? Yeah. That's the trajectory of a mere SEVEN MINUTES in the life of an 18-month-old. I was reading in bed when I came across this graphic and laughed (silently, of course, so as not to wake Olivia) until I had tears streaming down my face. It's so true. I would love to strap a little GPS on her so I could see her (probably very similar to the above graphic, if not even more madcap) path at the end of the day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

it's getting harder to blog ...

... with a toddler running all over the place. I remember the days of typing on my laptop while a tiny 9-pound Olivia snoozed on my chest. These days, I'm lucky if she gets a nap in, period. She's go go go all the time, which I hear is normal for this age. ;)

I've been trying to get her outside more, but given her hatred of having sunscreen applied, we're usually limited to a quick after-dinner sandbox visit. I have to admit that her sandbox makes me a little twitchy: between her trying to sample some of the grainy goodness and flinging it in the air so it coats her hair, eyelashes, and every square inch of her skin, it's just such a mess. Who knew I could be OCD about messes?

I think all of my readers know this already, but I'm pregnant (due date: 12/15/2009). First trimester fatigue + toddler = pure survival mode, so part of the reason for my scarce blogging as of late is because I usually tumble into bed the minute Olivia hits her crib for a nap. The second trimester is just around the corner, so I'm hoping that once that milestone hits I'll be feeling a bit more like myself, taking more photos again, etc.

If you haven't checked it out yet, watch Olivia spell her name. Pretty darn good for a 15-month-old if I do say so myself! Here are a few pictures of her playing in her sandbox (Daddy's idea) this week.




Thursday, May 7, 2009

where oh where did my sweet girl go?

Can the terrible twos arrive at 15 months? siiiiiiiiigh. We've hit a bit of a rough patch lately with our darling Miss Olivia.

She's learned that she has a lot of very strong opinions about things in her life:

diaper changes = bad
riding in wagon = awesome
evil parents removing her from said wagon = very, very bad
bathtime = awesome
evil parents removing her from bathtub = injustice of all injustices
splashing in the cat bowl = rocks!
mean mommy taking cat bowl away = fuh-huh-reakout time

And so on and so forth. Thus my posting hiatus. I've been slightly exhausted by the hysterics and haven't wanted to post until I could muster up a little humor first.

But at least she's still cute, and I know you want photos, so here you go!

her new sweet ride:

first bath in the big tub without her inflatable duck baby tub -- she LOVED it. Splash city.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

off to the races

Olivia is walking about 98% of the time now, and she seems to be quite tickled by her newfound skills. She often squeals/shrieks when she walks, sometimes pumping alternating fists in the air, reveling in her sheer magnificence. It's pretty hilarious, if I do say so myself -- this kid is spunky. She occasionally breaks into a brisk walk/run, usually when she's headed for something she knows is verboten. You should be able to see the latest video of her practicing her strut using the video link on the left side.

So, I broke down and joined a moms' group about a month ago. While there, you leave your kids in their childcare room so you can -- gasp! -- have uninterrupted, adult conversation without having to shoo grabby hands away from your food, jump up and chase your offspring who is inevitably teetering toward something perilous, or give a brief seminar on No, We Don't Pick Our Noses In Public; It's Gross. Olivia does not like being left in the childcare room, as you can imagine. All of the ladies in there are sweet as pie, but apparently 14 months is prime separation anxiety time and she doesn't care how nice they are -- she does NOT want to be there. I end up practically jogging down the hall, fingers in ears, la-la-la-ing to myself so I don't have to hear the plaintive wails of "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-ma! MAMA!" (translation: "Get your fool ass back here, woman!")

As you can imagine, between Gymboree and the childcare room (a.k.a. Places Babies Can Put Filthy Toys In Their Mouths For Fun), Miss Olivia has had quite the streak of colds for the last month. She handles it like a champ, but is still not a fan of having her nose wiped. The blue hospital-issue bulb sucker thingy? Yeah, that's a no go. So out of sheer desperation, enter the Nosefrida.


Uh, yeah. I'm (sadly) serious. I mocked this very device last year on a message board. I picture the scenario playing out like this:

Mom: Hey, baby! You know what would be super fun? I'm going to put a HOSE in my MOUTH and use it to suck your boogers out! Are you ready?

baby: Uh, lady? This seems like a very bad idea for many reasons.

Mom: Here we go!

baby: *throws arms up in surrender, mouth agape with terror*

Here's the rub: the thing is actually recommended by her pediatrician, so I'm going to give it a go. The website assures me that no baby boogs will even make it up into the hose, never mind my mouth, so we shall see (it's on order -- you know I'll be updating with results if I can ever get up the courage to use it).

The Nosefrida is probably second on my list of Creepiest Baby Products Ever. Coming in at #1 is the Zaky:


See how that baby is sleeping with his eyes slightly cracked open? I would too if two giant, limbless, 1970s-pantyhose-nude bean bag hands were hovering over my cranium and butt.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

the maternal instinct kicks in early




And yeah, that is a bottle. I'm a wimp, you see. A wimp whose child's cries of "BA-BA! BAAAAA! BAAAAAAAAAA!" could be used as a Waco-style audio torture method should I ever choose to hole myself up in a house and refuse to come out. Ba-ba will go bye-bye ... soon.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

a few days shy of 14 months old ...

She's finally getting the hang of this walking thing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYH0di_5LDU

She also learned how to raise her hands above her head and yell "TA DAAAA!" when she's proud of herself about something. If only adults could do that without looking odd ...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the month in review

Olivia had a busy month -- so busy that I was a bit of a slacker at uploading. So in photo-essay form, here's what the fabulous Miss O has been up to:

she suffered through the indignities of a ponytail

got stuck in a box

swiped my car keys and attempted to flee the scene


gave Up Up Elmo a much-deserved smackdown


"helped" by cleaning out the pantry

honed her artistic prowess


and most importantly, learned the finer points of relaxation from dad


Monday, March 23, 2009

supposedly no more

I just saw her take a few steps! She would have been able to keep going, but she stepped on her Charley Harper puzzle and decided that was enough.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

supposedly walking

We're finally all over our Gymboree- or playdate-acquired colds, thankfully. I think it lasted the longest for poor Olivia, but you'd never know (other than the insane quantity of ... um ... output from such a tiny nose) that she was sick. For the most part, she was in a good mood as usual. And she's slept through the night for 4 days in a row now, which makes me very happy.

I've had a bit of freelance work lately, which means that daddy plays with her in the living room while I'm at the dining room table working. I can't tell you the number of times in the last week that he's claimed that Olivia has taken several steps on her own. As soon as I run in there, she plops on the floor and starts back up with the take-a-knee scoot she's mastered. Yesterday we had dinner with friends at their place, and while I was upstairs chatting, Olivia allegedly took 10 steps on her own while down in the basement with the dad and his son. She also -- and again, I'm going to say allegedly, because I won't believe it until I see it! -- stood up on her own without holding onto anything, and then did it again this morning. My husband described it as sort of a downward-facing dog for babies. So while she's way behind my mom friends with babies her age, maybe she actually will walk eventually. ;) Now if we can just get her off her beloved ba-ba and purees ...

In other news, we're thinking about enrolling her in a mom's day out program in the fall. If my freelance continues to be as busy as it has been, I need some daytime hours other than her unreliable naps in which to work. It would be two days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it would be much less expensive than hiring a sitter to come to the house. The program is NAYEC accredited and looks really great. I sent a small deposit in to hold the space for now, and I'll have until August to figure out if I can really go through with it. I have a lot of guilt even thinking about it. I feel like because I chose to stay home with her, I should be responsible for her care 24/7 (which I know is irrational), she'll get sick, I'll get sick ... So we'll see.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

conquering germophobia one playdate at a time

This week -- spurred by near insanity brought on by cabin fever -- we went to a Gymboree class on Tuesday and had a playdate with a friend and her son on Wednesday. I was proud of myself for not getting (too) twitchy when she put a ball to her mouth at Gymboree or when she chewed on some toys during the playdate.

But today Olivia has a runny nose, and now I too am sniffling/sneezing and have that nagging tickle in my throat that means a bad cold is on the way. I'm trying to convince myself that this is a good thing: she needs to be exposed to things to build her immune system, and I don't want her to be sick nonstop in preschool and kindergarten, but ugh. I'm a wimp and a sick baby is the saddest thing ever. It sort of makes me want to hunker down in the house a la Howard Hughes surrounded with vats of hand sanitizer and face masks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

new words

I just had to pop on and jot these down -- this is basically my baby book, after all!

shoe ("dooooo") -- she also picked up the baby sign for this

boot ("booooo" or "bot")

boo -- as in peekaboo, usually said from her carseat when she sees me in the mirror

more ("moe") -- accompanied by the sign

bye-bye -- she's been doing this for a week or two, but with more regularity now, and also says it when she sees us putting on our coats, when people leave our house, or when we leave somewhere

please ("peeeees") -- she also does her version of the baby sign of this one

bath ("baaaah")

moose ("moo" or "muh")

moo -- what she says when she sees a cow or a gallon of milk

kitty -- ("tee")

balloon -- ("boon")

no -- ("nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh") -- frequently uttered when she's doing something she shouldn't be, like moving toward a power cord or reaching for daddy's receiver

I think there are probably more -- "moe" :p -- but they're not coming to mind right now. I'll update this if I think of others.

added 3/18:

mouse -- "mouw"

bee

magazines -- "mee mee"

mail

socks -- "docks"

she's also repeating everything, which is funny:

come see me -- "mee mee"

mailman -- "may mannn"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

vomit.

Puking. Hurling. Blowing chunks. Soul coughing. Praying to the porcelain gods. Shouting groceries. Whistling beef. (I have to give Google credit for those last two.)

I hate it. I hate thinking about it, hearing it, seeing it, smelling it, doing it. I know no one enjoys throwing up, but I have a special kind of fear of it. I can probably count on two hands the number of times I've done it since I've been old enough to remember. I can also remember many, many times where I probably should have just thrown up and gotten it over with, but instead chose to live with days of nausea instead. There's actually a term for it: emetophobia. Fear of blowing chunks. Or something like that.

Yesterday, Olivia did it twice. She choked on her afternoon snack and sent a horrid concoction of milk, goldfish crackers, banana and rice cake everywhere. I managed to not totally flip out as I stripped her clothes off and left them in a heap on the high chair tray for my poor husband to clean up later. She's been sort of iffy with eating much of anything lately, and picked at dinner. I gave her a bottle at bedtime, then she wanted more, and then around 9:30pm she was yelling "BA-BA!" from her crib, so I gave her a little more milk. Big mistake.

Around 10pm she woke up and I could see on the baby monitor that she was just sort of sitting in her crib, not really moving. If you know Olivia at all, not really moving is not really her style. Her head was slumping forward occasionally, almost like she was asleep sitting up. Again, totally unlike her. Dan thought I should just leave her alone because she wasn't crying, but I had a weird feeling and went to check on her. Yeah, you already know where this is going. The poor thing had puked all over her jammies and was just sitting there sort of shivering. Saddest sight ever. I think she just must have had too much milk, because she seemed totally fine after we changed her out of her wet PJs and remade the crib. She didn't end up going back to sleep until after midnight, but thankfully at least slept through the night. Phew.

Breakfast and lunch were uneventful today, so I'm just going to go with "random fluke" instead of "Terror alert: High. Stomach virus in house. Commence freakout."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

not quite walking, but it's a start

She stood up and pushed her little wagon while walking yesterday -- it's the first time she's even attempted to do anything like that, and she even managed to take a couple of laps across the kitchen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUt6AhGAc24

Thursday, February 19, 2009

words

Still no walking, but she seems to be adding a few new words per week. As my mom said to someone who was giving her a hard time when I hadn't walked yet, she's an intellectual, not a jock.

She said her first sentence last week: "Hi kitty." (Though kitty usually sounds a lot more like the hard k sound, or sometimes just a t sound.) This week she also started saying "Hi daddy," and now waves while saying "bye!" Her favorite word is still "hi" by a very large margin, probably because of all the attention it gets her when we're out. If she says hi to someone and they don't hear her, she raises her voice and tries again. I've even had her shout it at people across a parking garage. Oh my ... how did I get such a social child?

She also still loves to say bird, bear, and baby (bayyyyy-BEEE!). I think her word for magazines is mimi, and lately she tries to imitate things I'm saying, like beep beep or knock knock. She gets this hilarious grin on her face when she does it---I really need to get it on video.

She also picked up the sign for dog today, and is doing car and banana since I last posted about it. I'm really glad I overcame my all-or-nothing complex and got the Baby Signing Time videos. If you're in the market, I can't recommend them enough!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

winter blahs

I'm not sure if it's just February (a.k.a. the novelty of winter has worn off, yet spring is too far away to think much about yet) blahs, the typical let-down feeling I get after a big thing I've planned for has passed, or what, but I'm in a bit of a slump this week.

I'm trying to self-analyze so I can get out of this mood. My usual pick-me-ups haven't been working: goofing off online, reading trashy celeb gossip mags, eating chocolate ... even shopping at Target. Something is seriously amiss.

So, I've realized that it's bugging me that I have to take Olivia's bottles away now that she's a year old. I've been trying to transition to giving her a sippy cup, but someone isn't thrilled with that plan of action. It's completely my fault for not breaking the bottle/rocking to sleep combo sooner, but after months of very little sleep I've sort of felt entitled to do whatever works for a while. But now I'm annoyed that I have to switch up a routine that's been working just fine. Maybe I'll just pull a Katie Holmes and let Olivia keep her bottles until she's four. Ha!

She also isn't really digging the whole milk thing, and doesn't seem crazy about solid foods other than a few select purees. I joke that I'm going to end up going to school with her to spoon feed her pureed pears in the cafeteria, but I do worry that she's not getting enough to eat and/or that she should be eating more finger foods by now.

I guess in a nutshell, it's that I don't enjoy when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing ... and I feel that way a lot lately.

One happy thing in the midst of all this gloom is that she's finally saying mama! I think she started doing it last week, and I must say that it's the best thing ever. She's been up about 5 times since I put her to bed at 7:30 (ugh), but each time I've gone in to check on her she's pointed at me and said "MAMA!" like she hadn't seen me for days. So sweet. Things like that make the bad days a lot better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

storm photos

We spent all day yesterday dealing with a tree service, trying to get the street and our neighbors' driveway unblocked so they could get their cars out of the garage. $800 and a lot of annoyances later (we won't be using that company again), the tree went from this:



(see the upstairs window on the left side of the house? That's Olivia's room. We were sitting across the room from where that sloped wall is, but her crib is pushed right up against where that tree would have fallen.)

to this:
We still have some work cut out for us---chopping up the remaining pieces of the trunk and offloading the wood, plus repairing the neighbors' grass where the tree made a huge dent in their lawn. Dan already replaced their mailbox today. It's been a huge hassle, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. It could have been much, much worse.