Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

I have lots to post, but getting back into the swing of things takes longer than it should. So, I'll be quick and I'll write a couple of the highlights:

  • Flying into Louisville after an ice storm, stuffing ourselves into Brandon's Hyundai, and then trekking up an ice-covered hill to get into Mom and Dad's house.

  • Seeing Olivia's cousin Bella for the first time! She's two months younger than Olivia and so cute!!


  • Visiting with Grandma and Grandpop. It was wonderful to not have to work at night, to visit during the day, and go to bed soon after Olivia at night.


  • Visiting with Mutti and all her family.





  • Visiting with Grandpa Bill & Tamara.




  • Learning to make lefsa and rosettes with Grandma Clara.

  • Playing with Stephanie, Abby, and Craig on the ice covered creek.

  • Talking and visiting with Erin and Thurgood.

  • Spending time with my family, especially my siblings and parents, who I miss so much.

  • Seeing Juliet, Tony, John, and Christopher at Chuck-e-Cheese.


  • Having coffee with Stacey the day after Christmas.

  • Eating too much at Aunt Vicky's yearly Stemm Christmas dinner.

  • Eating even more at my parents'Christmas Eve dinner.

  • Olivia getting tooth number 3 (Dec. 17), tooth number 4 (Dec. 27), and seeing tooth number 5.

  • Seeing Olivia enjoy her first Christmas...even if she wasn't really sure what she was enjoying.




    And here are a couple of videos of Olivia back at home, sweet home:



  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Signing off...for a while

    Olivia and I are headed "home" for the holidays, so we are signing off until the end of the month. In the mean time, here are a couple of videos to keep you entertained.

    Note the bed that looks like it is in an orphanage with no bumpers and so low to the ground. The pediatrician said no bumpers now since Olivia can pull up. The next step is crawling out of the crib.



    Stephanie passed this toy down to us from her kids, and it never worked until Olivia threw it the other day. Now we know it quacks the tunes "Old McDonald", "London Bridge", and something else.

    A busy weekend



    This past weekend my friend Lisa from grad school came for a visit, after the canceled trip due to me getting so sick in November. It had been almost a year since we had seen one another and in that time lots has changed in both our lives. Lisa lived a weekend in my life since we didn't do too much more than love and play with Olivia. Well, not exactly a typical weekend in my life since Olivia isn't usually such a bad napper. I think she was just too excited about Lisa being here that she didn't want to sleep. Three naps a day since Lisa left.

    Nicholas watched Olivia Saturday night so we could sneak off to a movie and have some girl time without baby girls. Lisa's flight was canceled on Sunday because of the winter storm in Chicago, so we got one more day to spend together and then it was off to the airport at 4:45 AM on Monday morning.

    Before that, though, Olivia showed Lisa how to play with blocks:



    And how to love dogs, which Lisa already knew since Ringo remembered her and kind of wanted to go home with her:



    It was great to see you, Lisa! I miss you! Jay, where is that worm whole when we need it?

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    My favorites, I can't wait

    I wanted to wait and let these be a surprise for family at Christmas (who will be getting prints), but they are so fun! The Christmas cards are out, so I couldn't wait any longer! The last one was the only good one from the "grumpy session" where I had my hair up, but Olivia was too tired to smile. Olivia looks so beautiful there, though. I think I should have used that one on the Christmas cards.





    Monday, December 6, 2010

    7 months!



    Olivia is seven months old today. I measured her at the doctor's office and she weighs 18 lbs 8 ounces and is 28 inches long. Wow! Time flies and so does her growth-- an inch and a pound this month!

    In other news, I've figured out how to keep Olivia warm on our walks: For cold days, a blanket, jacket, hat and mittens are in order.



    For cold and windy days, the car seat in the stroller so that she is protected from the wind and the car seat cover. She had her doll in there and seemed pretty happy. I think I will hang toys above next time.



    Sleep training continues for both me and Olivia. I bought the book "Healthy Sleep Habits: Happy Child," and am reading it. The doctor says if your timing is perfect, you can have no crying. Hmmm... Well, Olivia takes two short naps a day--20-40 minutes each. But then she is tired around 5 or 5:30 in the evening. Friday through Sunday, I decided to go ahead and put her down at that time. Waking every three hours for milk and in between because she lost her pacifier, she slept until 5:30 am the first two nights. Last night, she slept until 7 am, only waking at 10:40 for 4.4 ounces of milk and 4:20 for 4 ounces of milk and a pacifier emergency around 11:30. We're doing better. Tonight, though, she wouldn't go to sleep until 7, and I figured as much because she napped in her cozy lair in the stroller while we walked at 3:30. Usually she doesn't nap that late. So far, I haven't let her cry more than a minute at a time. I understand what the doctor means about perfect timing--not just about when to start the bedtime routine, but also about when to end it and put her down "sleepy, but not asleep." Sometimes I miss it, she falls asleep in my arms, and I have to wake her up before putting her in the crib. Still working.... probably always will be! Who knew sleeping could be so hard! (And I am trying not to believe that if I don't get this right, Olivia will have sleep disorders all her life as my book says. I've decided just to be confident and move forward optimistically.)

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Cold and rainy days

    I've never loved cold or rainy days, except when the weather is dangerous and exciting. This week we had rainy days at the beginning and cold ones at the end. Olivia and I hate for our morning and afternoon walks to be disrupted! So, on Tuesday, we drove to the mall in Birmingham to finish our Christmas shopping and walk inside. I timed it so Olivia took an hour nap on the way up, we "shopped" for about 2.5 hours, and then she took an hour nap on the way home. I say we "shopped" because at least half of that time was spent just walking, playing, eating, or drinking. I packed the baby food and fed her in the food court; we had a break for prune juice and a break for formula. So, Olivia was a pretty happy camper. Later that day at home, Olivia helped me find my Christmas CDs so that we could listen to them and dance around the house. I figure I have to start early with her to get her to like musicals and old Christmas music since Nicholas isn't into them.



    As the week got colder, we postponed our morning walks until after Olivia's first nap. I don't like doing that because we end up playing trains in the dark instead of getting ready for our walk. But, I think it's been too cold to take her out in the mornings...29 degrees a couple of mornings. It was 37 and windy this morning, and after bundling her up, putting her in the stroller, getting the dogs ready, and walking down the driveway, I relented and turned back. In the afternoon it was 48 and windy and Nicholas and I took everyone to the playground. It was still pretty cold. We didn't stay long. Here are some videos:





    I don't know what we are going to do when it gets too cold to walk at all during the day. When I lived in Indiana and jogged, my rule was that if it was below 20 degrees I wouldn't go. That's been my rule here, too, and I have only had to use it a handful of time. I'm not sure what a good rule is for a baby.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    A quick one

    For all the hard-core followers (I know there is at least one), this one's for you. I'm busy trying to get work done at work and work done at home, but all I really do is love and take care of Olivia. We have a dining room table full of presents to be wrapped, curtains to be ironed and re-hung, and Christmas cards to be sent. The floors need to be vacuumed and mopped and the bathrooms need to be cleaned. It's bothering me, but tonight I must work again as I will be taking some time off to go up to Kentuckiana and don't want to work while I am there. During the day Olivia consumes me. I love it--the smiles, the play, the eating, the discovery, the walks, the attempts at talking and walking and crawling. She does something new every single day and it surprises me. I'm SO glad to have this opportunity to be with her. But, I must admit that it is exhausting, especially with Nicholas working so much. He, lately, hasn't been making it home before she goes to sleep. I know he misses her and she him.

    Here are a couple of videos of bath time:


    And me trying a new way to get Olivia to nap. She is getting so that she fights her naps. Three naps are out now. I am lucky to get two thirty minute naps out of her.