Saturday, November 27, 2010

A wonderful week!

I'm catching up a little. Monday I took Olivia to her first puppet show. The library had a Thanksgiving puppet show, complete with a story, singing, and dancing beforehand. Olivia loved looking at all the other kids--at least 50--and the puppets. She liked the music, too, and bounced in my lap. Unfortunately, this week was a week full of me forgetting my camera. So, no pics.

Thursday, Nicholas, Olivia, and I went to Thanksgiving dinner at his colleagues and friends' house. It was great to not have to cook the whole meal myself, and Susan did a fantastic job on Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I made the green bean casserole and cranberry sauce. Olivia did really well around all the new people. She got tired by the end, though, and got grumpy on our walk around the lake in their neighborhood. I can't blame her; we got stuck in the rain. (The weather went from 75 degrees on Thursday to a chilly high of 45 on Friday. Brrr! I love Alabama! The kids in my neighborhood were playing roller hockey in the street in shorts and T-shirts on Thanksgiving.) Again, no pictures.

Friday, Olivia and I went to tailgate at the Alabama vs. Auburn game. She loved being strolled through the crowd and seeing everyone and everything. However, after the twenty minute walk from where we parked to where we were going to tailgate with friends (who, I must say, do it right--big screen TV, trailer, fire barrel for warmth, grill, yummy food, good drinks), she was done. We stayed about five minutes when it was clear that the music, the smoke from the fire, the cold weather, and all the people who wanted to hold her were just too much for her. From that five minutes of crying she went right to sleep in her stroller on the walk back to the car, even though she had just woken up from a nap an hour earlier. Poor little baby. No pictures there, either, even though I did remember my camera that time. I didn't want to record Olivia unhappy.

In other news, we have moved Olivia to the next bathtub. We got this one at our shower, and it is awesome! Olivia loves it being deeper because she can splash more and there is more room for her toys to float. I love it because of the soft sides. I don't worry about her slipping because if she does, she isn't going to hurt herself.





And, my confession is that I am not going to decorate for Christmas this year in the house because Olivia and I are making our way to Kentuckiana on December 16, with Nicholas joining us before Christmas. The only decorating I am doing is done, all $4.50 worth of bows that I bought on sale at Publix... Actually, I am considering putting white lights on the little topiary evergreens right outside the front door. That is, if the lights box is handy in the garage closet.



And, I've been meaning to write down a few Olivia anecdotes:

  • Olivia can take her own diaper off now. When I have her on the changing table, I tape the diaper shut, and she immediately reaches down and starts ripping the tape off the velcro part. Oh, my! I have to be fast to get her onesie buttoned.
  • Olivia is loving this new formula...and taking a lot of it. She just drank almost 9 ounces before bed tonight, and that is usual for her last meal of the day. She usually takes four ounces during the day and night, but at least once a day will take six.
  • Olivia is doing really well with her solid food now, too. I discovered this week that by heating up her oatmeal, she will take 1/8 cup or more of it. Before she would barely take two teaspoons. So, she is eating at least three times a day--once cereal, once fruit, and once vegetables. When we do another feeding, I usually give her more veggies. She takes about 3.5 ounces of fruit or veggies per feeding.
  • Olivia almost has the pincer grip going. I give her Cheerios on her tray while she is eating to give her hands something to do instead of trying to take the spoon away from me. She gets 2-3 into her mouth during the meal, and this week has started picking them up with her thumb and forefinger instead on only raking them in.
  • Olivia is almost crawling. I kind of want to say that she is, but it is still in early stages. She still mostly moves with her belly on the floor, and forward is the most difficult direction. She can go backwards and rotate pretty well. She often lifts up her bottom to get momentum. She often goes from a sitting up position into the real crawling position, but she usually makes it just one move before being on her belly again.
  • The sleep saga continues. Olivia is going to bed about seven and usually wakes up between twelve thirty and two thirty to eat. Then once more. If she wakes up at two thirty, she usually makes it to her morning wake up of five thirty to six before eating again. Otherwise, she will wake and go back to sleep between three thirty and four thirty. We are still working on the going to bed sleepy but not asleep. Last night I let her cry for one minute. Then I went in and comforted her and she went to sleep. One minute is about all I can take at this point.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pulling up!

I cannot believe what happened today! Olivia and I were playing Peek-a-boo in her crib. It was so cute I went to get the camera. See video:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New boots and too big for the bathtub

To keep those sweet feet warm on those cool days:




I really don't want to switch to the bathtub, so I am holding out as long as possible. I'm not sure how much longer that is...




And Olivia went down asleep tonight. Ish. Here's to tomorrow. I'm learning.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Swings

Olivia can now swing in the bucket swings at the playground in our subdivision and she loves it! It is so fun to take her and the dogs up there on these beautiful fall days. Today, while I was at work, Nicholas made the trek up there with Olivia in the stroller and the dogs on the two-pronged leash. He took some photos on his iPhone. Look at our big girl:






And speaking of swings, we put this one away a few weeks ago. It kind of made me sad since Olivia really liked it that first month. This is another photo we found on Nicholas's iPhone when he was downloading the ones from today. This one's from May.

Pure joy...at bedtime




Olivia is becoming such a little girl. She gets the giggles and it is SO cute. Tonight as I was getting Olivia ready for bed, Nicholas came to the back guest room where Olivia was playing on her play mat and I was reading. I said, "Watch this. Olivia loves this!" Then I proceeded to jump on the bed and make the play mat and her shake. Then I tickled her. Yes, that is bad parenting when it comes to a bedtime routine, but look at the pure joy in her face! And, Olivia went down sleepy but not asleep at seven o'clock. I had to go in a few minutes later to give her pacifier back, but otherwise she fell asleep on her own.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Queen Olivia


Olivia and I had friends over on Tuesday. My friend Rene and her 2 month old Colton came over for pizza and visiting. We had a good time talking and playing with the babies. Rene calls her son Master Colton and called Olivia, Queen Olivia. I thought it was cute, but not something I am going to keep up. I'm not sure if you can spoil a six-month-old, but I'm guessing the answer is yes. I do think this is the time that you have to start showing your baby that you have needs, too. A la, "Mama has to go to the bathroom and she cannot hold you the whole time while she is in there."

In part because of the photographer's reprimand, "You really have to be careful as a stay-at-home mom not to let your children become only attached to you. You need to let other people be with her." And in part because I do want to be able to leave Olivia with someone to babysit her and not have her cry the whole time, we have started going to Sylvia's house so that Sylvia can play with Olivia. Today we did 30 minutes, 15 of which I was outside. Olivia did great. Next week I am going to drop her off for the whole 30 minutes. The following we'll go to an hour. One of my other neighbors has volunteered to do the same thing. Hopefully this will work so that when we go up to Indiana/Kentucky for the holidays, all the relatives can hold and play with Olivia without her crying for Mama.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of the Tuesday visit. So, at Heidi's suggestion, here are some crib shots and a funny video. Yes, I know Olivia looks like a rag-a-muffin because I didn't brush her hair for the video.





Olivia can stand supported, but she cannot pull herself up yet. She has just started pushing herself up from laying down to sitting up. She is going from sitting up into the crawling position with her knees under her, her elbows straight, and her belly off the ground, but she hasn't quite figured out how to move after that. She usually ends up flat on her belly or face.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nothing much

We are getting back into a routine after being sick. I'm still tackling my big list while Olivia naps, which doesn't lend a lot of time since she is transitioning to two naps a day -- each about 30 minutes long. Of course, she goes to sleep for the night between 5:30 and 7:30. We still haven't worked on the waking, though, so she is getting up 2-3 times each night and then waking in the morning around six AM.

Yesterday we went to the photographer for family Christmas pictures. Olivia would not smile and was out of sorts; we rescheduled. Today, she hams it up for the camera:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

An awful bug

Prior to Thursday, as a stay-at-home mom, I hadn't had to ask Nicholas to stay home from work. One Wednesday afternoon when I had to go to work and Nicholas did, too, we hired a babysitter for the first time. This past Thursday morning, though, was rough.

If we back up to Wednesday evening, you'll find me getting chills and having Nicholas heap the blankets on top of me. I felt HORRIBLE. I hadn't felt that bad since 2008 when I wound up in the hospital after catching something on the way back from Belgium. And because I was so achy and so miserable, I said to Nicholas, "If you have to take me to the hospital, call Sylvia to watch Olivia. Her number is in my phone." He asked, "Are you serious?" I said, "Kind of." (Sylvia is our German neighbor who I have become friends with over the past three years. She, Olivia, and I walk almost every morning around the neighborhood with Puck, Ringo, and her Old English Mastiff, Fiona.)

I made it through the night, getting up twice to feed Olivia. In the morning, Nicholas had to leave the house by 7:50 to get to his first class. He asked if he should stay home. I said to go ahead and go to work, just come home as soon as possible since I knew he had classes and meetings. I called Sylvia and said I wouldn't be walking since I didn't feel well. Nicholas went to work, and Olivia and I did some low-key playing--reading, playing on the play mat. (This is the time that I wish I allowed her to watch TV!) By 9:30, I felt pretty horrible. I was talking to Stephanie on the phone, holding Olivia, and putting away dishes when I thought I was going to faint. I didn't. I sat down on the floor and vomited. Yuck. And vomited. And vomited. And I didn't feel better. Olivia was crying; she was still in my arms and I was vomiting over my shoulder onto the kitchen floor. Ringo was eating the vomit. And I was literally sick. I called Nicholas between gasps. I said, "Help." He said, "I'll come right now." He was in the middle of class. Thank goodness he kept his phone on. I called Sylvia next to come over and keep Olivia while I changed and cleaned up.

Anyway, long story short (okay, that was already long), I had an awful bug. I stayed in bed for three hours and then got up and went to the doctor. She said it has been going around and don't eat ANYTHING for 24 hours. Then do 4 saltine crackers. Then broth. Then the BRAT diet. When I got home from the doctor, Nicholas wasn't feeling well. He started throwing up hours later. Thank goodness Nicholas gave me those five hours to rest, because he was sick after that. And Mama has to take care of everyone. This was a time when I REALLY wished we lived closer. The doctor said you could only get this if you ingest it. I was worried about Olivia because everything goes in her mouth now. But, we have been washing hands and disinfecting everything and so far, so good. Today is BRAT diet day. Tomorrow I'm hoping that real food will go okay.

In other news, Olivia is still cute. See below.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A wonderful birthday

It turned out to be a lovely beginning to 31. Olivia's fever broke about 3 AM and she took four ounces of formula after that. Thank goodness; I was relieved since I was worried about dehydration. Olivia and I recuperated together since I had a cold, too, and stayed at home all day, which is more rare than you may think between grocery shopping, errands, doctors appointments, play dates and story time. (Yes, I realize that last sentence officially makes me sound like my late grandparents who had a big day when they went to grocery and the bank. I now totally get it!) Here is a picture of Olivia in her going out for a walk on a crisp afternoon outfit:



Nicholas surprised me with a beautiful cake, and it was wonderful to celebrate with our little family!

Monday, November 8, 2010

6 months!



In a blink of an eye, Olivia is six months old! Today was her 6-month well-visit, although she has a cold. She is 17 lbs 7 ounces (although she didn't eat yesterday or today almost anything, and she was 17 lbs 9 ounces last week when she was at the doctor for a rash), which is the 75 percentile, and 27 inches, which is the 90th percentile.

Some of my questions for the doctor included --
1. Why is Olivia waking up screaming in the night, but not actually awake? The doctor said that babies can get night terrors at this age, where they scream in their sleep, but aren't awake. When you go in to comfort them, they wake up and go back to sleep and don't even remember the crying/screaming. Wacky.

2. Is it time to put the crib low? Yes, since Olivia is sitting up and starting to pull up, the mattress needs to be on the lowest setting.

3. When can we start finger foods--Cheerios, cut up fruit, etc.? Soon. When her grip changes from the raking grip to the pincer grip to pick things up.

4. Should Olivia still be waking up 2-3 times per night to eat? Probably not. It's hard since she doesn't eat much formula at a time, but the introduction of solids should be helping with her calorie intake now. So, we are going to try to nip a night feeding or two in the bud in the next several weeks.

5. Can we try to get Olivia off Nutramigen? Yes, we're trying Enfamil Gentle Ease. We'll see how it goes. Tonight she wouldn't touch the stuff. But, she really would touch anything.

We've had a rough few days because of this cold, which has made Olivia not want to eat or drink. I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trip to IN/KY (Day 4)

And off to Mutti's house we went. And this time, I did remember to take a picture of the four generations.


Great Grandma Haaga, Mutti (Grandma Kraft), Daddy, and Olivia




Uncle Chuck and Olivia



Olivia catching some zzz's in Mutti's arms



Great Aunt Chris and Olivia



Mutti and Olivia playing. Notice the kisses Olivia gives. She opens her mouth and plasters it to your face to "kiss" you.

Trip to IN/KY (Day 3)

We spent Saturday with Stephanie and her family, as well as my parents, and my grandma Clara. Of course, I did not get the one picture I wanted: Olivia's great grandma, grandma, mom, and Olivia all together. We'll have to get that one at Christmas.

We had a great time playing with Craig and Abby, visiting with the adults, walking on the farm, "riding" horses, and playing with the new puppy Butterball. Craig is into trains and Star Wars, as the videos will show.

Abby, Olivia, and Craig on the floor looking at the ceiling fan.



Olivia waking Abby and Craig up from an afternoon nap.



Riding horses.



Stephanie is on the other side of Olivia, holding her.



Walking in the woods. Nicholas took the picture. It's bow season, so we dressed appropriately.



Craig LOVED Olivia:



Olivia on the outdoor swing in Steph's backyard:



Learning to love trains:



Craig and Steph "fighting":



Trip to IN/KY (Day 2)

We met our new nephew, Jackson Dakota Stemm, on Friday. My sister-in-law Beki looks GREAT at week three after giving birth to her fourth child! (I was a total wreck still at that time.) It was wonderful to get a moment to see Wilson, Beki, Madeline, little Wilson, and baby Jackson...as well as much on chips and homemade salsa and see all the home renovations!

Madeline and Olivia



Wilson and Jackson



The mamas, Rebekah and me, and their babies, Olivia and Jackson




Monday, November 1, 2010

Trip to IN/KY (Day 1)


On Thursday of last week, we packed up our bags and headed to Indiana and Kentucky to see our families. After the eight hour trip, with five stops, Olivia arrived at Tamara and Bill's house asleep. She was a great traveler! Almost no crying! It was great to tag-team with Nicholas between driving and entertaining Olivia. Bill got a kick out of playing with his grandbaby, I think, and bought her this super cute purple dress, among other gifts.

One of Olivia's favorite games right now is the drop it, have someone else pick it up game. Grandpa Bill was totally up for it!



(Nicholas told me to upload this. I wasn't sure if I should.)