Friday, September 30, 2011

Back from Indiana

Nicholas went out of town to a conference this week, so Olivia, Puck, and I packed up and headed north. The trip up took about nine hours, but was actually not terrible because I allowed TV in the car. Olivia watched Backyardigans and Thomas and was happy. She took one good nap, which is all I can ask for in the car. Puck was a good traveler, too, for the most part. When Olivia wanted an ice cream sandwich and a banana at a gas station, I allowed that, too. Here is a picture of her with the ice cream sandwich. She ate about 1/5 of it and handed it to me.

We spent the first night with Mutti and dropped off Puck. Olivia wanted to play outside even though it was raining. She had a good time listening to the music Mutti bought her, and playing with her big exercise ball. Olivia didn't sleep well there, though. At 4 AM after Olivia had been up for an hour, I took her to my bed (in the same room). I thought she was going to curl up and go to sleep, but instead she put her head on mine and started telling me stories. Then pulled me to get me up. I put her back in the pack-n-play and slept on the couch. That worked better.

We stayed with my parents the rest of the time. I didn't get pictures until the last night which is entirely unfortunate considering what a good time we had with cousin Jackson and Aunt Beki on Tuesday, Grandma Clara and her chickens and kittens each day, and cousins Abby and Craig each day, too. Olivia probably spent 85% of her waking time outside--petting cows, horses, chickens, and dogs; pretending to be monkeys with Abby and Craig; walking in the woods and the pasture; swinging and saying "Wee!"; playing fetch with the dogs; sliding down the slide and riding the pretend tractor; and just walking around in the yard. Here are some pictures of the last night and morning we left:

Petting horses with Aunt Stephanie.

And cows, too, with cousin Craig and Abby!

Watching Mama pet cows.

"Craig, give me back my camera. I mean it."

Playing with Grandma Dorothy before leaving on Thursday.

Loving all those big dogs!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Budgets and desires

So, because I am planning to quit working for at least six months starting at the end of December, because babies are expensive, and so are dogs, houses, and cars, Nicholas and I are trying to tighten our belts. I gave up the housekeeper in mid-August. I have let my photographer know that we can't afford her anymore (although I love her and will always love the photos she took of Olivia). Anyhoo...not to shortchange Baby Kraft, we have found someone else to do photos. Now to find some props that aren't too pricey. I love this website: After the Bump, but their stuff is pretty high. I need to look on Etsy for some hats and booties.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beautiful quilts by Christine

No, not me! My friend Christine is exclusively quilting now. I just saw more of her work on display this weekend, and I am impressed. And I want lots of it! So, because Nicholas and I are trying to stick to a strict budget, I am passing along the information in case you have a special occasion or gift to buy. (Christine and Elizabeth are the ones who made the beautiful baby quilt for Olivia that has little girls with bonnets on it. It is Olivia's favorite, and we often pull it out for her to play on.)

So, here is Christine's blog: 2 Quilt or not 2 Quilt

And here is her etsy shop: 2 Quilt or not 2 Quilt

Friday, September 16, 2011

Finally, cooler weather

Here is Olivia "mowing" the lawn yesterday. Love that outfit! And love that bubble mower!

And since I have essentially given up on walking with Olivia, we have taken up bike riding. Olivia loves her helmet and loves putting mine on me!

Another anecdote: Today Olivia and I went to the play ground. She put some rocks on the see-saw and they stayed. She said, "Cool!". Then, when she went to get more rocks, she lifted her hand, palm out, and said to the rocks, "Stay." Haha! She cracks me up!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're having a boy!!!

I'm uploading the ultrasound video now, but clear as day, we could tell we are having a boy. More importantly, all the little fingers, toes, heart chambers, brain parts, kidneys, bladder, etc. are accounted for. My doctor said that the kind of ultrasound I had today can find 95% of birth defects. He said the ultrasound is not proof of everything going well, but it does indicate it. Whew!! We are so happy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bold, confident, decisive

Olivia and I went to story time today for the first time in a while. (We hadn't been going regularly since pre-Christmas because when she changed to two naps a day, one nap always coincided with ten o'clock story time. When she switched to one nap per day in August, they weren't doing story time.) We had a good time today. The program is good and seeing the other moms and kids is good. Next week they are having a picnic after. Nice!

Today, I met a mom with twins who are also 16 months old. I asked her how it was. She said, "You have to be bold, confident, and decisive." I thought that's good advice for every mom, woman, and person. So, I am passing it along.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another week

It seems that another week has past without me posting. Nicholas was gone to Chicago last week to visit his dad (Grandpa Bill), and Olivia and I made it here on our own. I didn't get pictures of us here. We were doing the usual--playing, working, sleeping, eating, cleaning, learning, laughing, etc. Olivia has decided she wants nothing to do with the stroller anymore, which makes me very sad since I have enjoyed walking since I quit running in 2002. Now our walks are strolls with me holding dogs, pushing an unused stroller or pulling an unused wagon, and randomly holding Olivia's hand, carrying her, grabbing her before going into the street, or trying to cajole her to follow me.

Because Olivia is also not the best car traveler (what toddler is?), I ended up getting a babysitter for her on Saturday for the four hours I was gone to go pick up Nicholas from the airport. Caroline was the babysitter, and Olivia loved her!! Olivia didn't cry when I left or when Caroline put her down for a nap. I am thrilled and plan to book her once a month for a date night with Nicholas.

When Daddy came home, we got some videos of Olivia showing off her new Tasha (from the Backyardigans) doll. Thank you, Bill! She loves that and her leopard, which she made the moms next door hug and kiss. I wish I had that on film!! In this one, though, Olivia must have been really thirsty. Usually, she offers her dolls some milk before she has some.

Here is my girl walking her puppy. You may not be able to hear it, but she says, "C'mon, C'mon."

And some pictures of us playing outside as we do most evenings. Here is Olivia imitating Daddy doing a touchdown sign. So cute!!

Here she is running back to Daddy after checking out the lost frisbee in one of the perennial beds.

Here is Olivia twirling. She has at least three distinct dance moves: twirling, bouncing, and shaking, and will do any on command. The video camera's battery was dead tonight, so I didn't get any video.

Olivia giggles and giggles when you turn her upside down:

This is Olivia's "I'm going to tickle you!" stance. It cracks me up!

Monday, September 5, 2011

First McWane Center trip

Olivia and I went to the McWane Center with our friends Leslie and Archer today. I'm tired, so I'm not writing much, but here a few pictures of what we did there. (It was a successful trip--no meltdowns or tantrums, everyone seemed to have fun, and Olivia slept on the trip home. Leslie wasn't so lucky with Archer. He seems to have an endless amount of energy, so he didn't nap on the way home.) Thanks to Leslie for driving and letting me park in their garage on this yucky rainy day, and thanks to Brandon for moving Olivia's car seat in and out of their car!

In the bubble area, Leslie and Archer made a bubble around themselves. Cool!

Olivia had a good time shoving the pins in while another little girl on the other side shoved the pins out.

This is our future archaeologist dusting for dinosaur bones.

We also saw all the fish, octopi, and turtles on the bottom floor; the big building blocks on the top floor; the water play area, the puzzles, the huge indoor "play place", and the rest of the dinosaurs. Lots to do there. Now, Mommy needs to sleep. Even with support hose, being on my feet wore me out.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Little baby post

Little Baby is kicking up a storm now. I feel him/her every time I eat now. The kicks are slight, but I know that will change soon. I can hardly wait for September 15 to find out the gender so that I can stop saying him/her when I refer to him/her.

Just to post my prediction, I think we're having a boy. Of course, I thought wrong with Olivia until just a few days before the ultrasound, so we'll see. I threw out my favorite boy name to Nicholas tonight and he wrinkled his nose, so it may prove easier if Little Baby turns out to be a girl, at least in that respect. And, then, Olivia would have a sister, which I have found to be really wonderful, especially as an adult. It would be so exciting to have a boy, though, since we have been inundated with pink stuff since Olivia was born. So...we'll just have to wait and see!

I'm feeling a bit less tired now, so I think I am in that happy part of pregnancy, which I believe lasts until about 28 weeks. I'm going to try to enjoy it and get as much as I can done, as I know the end is tiring, too.

A Friday at home, a Saturday out and about

Friday, we spent the day cleaning. Even Nicholas was in on it in the afternoon. Olivia does pretty well with these cleaning days, since we alternate from working (where she "helps" by dusting, mopping, wiping mirrors, etc.) to playing or "taking a break" for snacks or reading. We usually listen to music, so she dances, too.

After all that work, today, Olivia and I went to Chik-Fil-A for lunch so that she could play in the indoor play place, and then to the library, which she also loves. Later, when we got home, we made a two hour trek to the play ground in our neighborhood. Pictures follow. She played with the rocks, the sticks, and finally discovered going down the slide by herself. She loved it!