Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oh, the games we play!

This week was super hot, so we mostly played indoors. I took the kids to the playground on Saturday morning and no one was happy. We took the kids to the pool that evening, and someone had had an "accident" in the big pool, so that was closed. We decided not to go at all this week.

Instead, we played a lot of "animal rescue center," where we "fix" the animals in Olivia's room. Sometimes we feed them, sometimes we bandage them with toilet paper, sometimes we put blankets on them and read them stories... Sometimes that looks so fun that Olivia wants to be tucked in, too, with Leo in her bed...

Leo continues to amaze me with his tolerance for tummy time. Here he is playing in his crib one day this week. He is really moving those legs!

Olivia is also really good at puzzles now. She knows her shapes and can put them in the correct spot really quickly. She likes to work the big bird floor puzzle that Aunt Beki gave her for Christmas, too, but that takes more concentration and time. Have I written that she can sing the ABC song? She can! It's so cool! But, it's not the one with the same melody as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (although she can almost sing that song since she thinks that Leo likes it, and he does), it is the Alpha Pig one from Super Why. I started singing that one to her about a month ago and she requests it a lot.

We've also been playing ballerina a lot. We borrowed the book "The Little Ballet Star" from the library and we have been acting it out for two weeks. Olivia has several pages memorized, and although we have returned the book, she likes to say and act out "I do my plies. I point my toes just exactly right. I twirl and spin. Everyone claps!" My part in this scenario is to play Aunt Gina. Olivia is Tilly. She wants me to say, "Come up on stage, Tilly, darling!" There is a part in the book where Tilly gets make-up on in the make-up room and says, "I look like a pink apple." That is Olivia's favorite line! Her princess tent is the make-up room, her closet is the dressing room, and we set up curtains and a stage in the living room this week. I forgot to get a picture.

In Leo news, tooth number two came in on Monday night! He has been super fussy in the evenings and hasn't been sleeping well. After posting about this on Facebook, I got lots of suggestions, so here he is with one: a frozen breast milk pop. He likes them and they seem to ease the discomfort. Hooray!

In other Olivia news, she asked me for Dora panties at the store the other day. Then she wanted Minnie panties, too. The next morning, she asked to wear them. (My theory behind this is she will train herself when she is ready, so I ask her if she wants to use the potty several times every day, but she usually doesn't take me up on it.) Then she went successfully on the potty! Hooray! Then she wanted her diaper back on and hasn't asked for the panties since. Whatever.

Also, we've had all good behavior at school since last week. I think Olivia was just feeling left out because I was spending so much time with Leo since he had been so fussy with teething. Awareness is a good thing and I feel like I am doing a better job balancing them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer's HOT!

This hilarious video is from today at lunch. Olivia took Leo's rattle and he thought it was funny, so she continued...

It's so hot, too, that I am supplementing Leo with some water and some prune juice (for other, obvious, reasons). Olivia likes to try to feed it to him...

And today we made it to the playground with our friends Jennifer, Mary Grace, and JP. JP is six weeks younger than Leo and Mary Grace is eight weeks younger than Olivia.

We also got to the pool this afternoon. Leo is too cute!! He outgrew his swim top. I need to get him another one, but for now, he is super cute sporting skin!

And...drum roll, is the first picture of all four of us together! I think we will have professional ones taken in October. I don't think you want this one on our Christmas cards!

And here is a picture of Olivia's hair after a bath. It is SO curly!

In other news, Olivia got in trouble at school for the first time yesterday. She refused to clean up when her teacher asked her, and put herself in time-out three times. She has been acting out at home, too, and just seemed sad. By bed time last night, both Nicholas and my nerves were frayed. I decided I wasn't giving her enough positive attention and letting her watch too much TV. We've cut back to no more than 40 minutes of screen time per day and we had lots of play time today. I see a difference already.

And here is one of Olivia dancing to her ballerina music in her ballerina costume that I bought on clearance at Target.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back to work! And a new tooth!

I went back to work this morning for the first time in six months, and it was awesome! I'm so glad that my boss allows me to have this two morning a week schedule. I love getting to work on things that get done (instead of mothering and housekeeping, which never get done) and be allowed to do it just a little bit so that I can do the mothering and housekeeping, which I really love, too.

In other news, Leo's first tooth broke the gums today! Cool! He's been SO fussy the past couple of days at night that I figured it was coming. Tooth number two is visible, but not through the gums yet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Leo's four month and Olivia's two year pictures are in!

Jennifer McAteer did Leo and Olivia's pictures for us on the Tuesday before we left for our trip north, and even though it was hectic, had just rained, was like a sauna outside, and even though I was a crazy person making Nicholas help me carry our leather sleeper sofa outside, even though Olivia was not a good listener, these pictures look great! Here is the sneak peek!

For all of them, see, click on Olivia + Leo, and use the password "kraft". Family, I will send an email with a link to the pictures on Shutterfly as soon as I get the CD.

The Pennas' visit

Our friends Tony and Juliet, and their kids John and Christopher came to visit over the weekend, and we were thrilled to see them! Nicholas and I don't have many "couple" friends and even fewer who knew us pre-kids, so we were stoked to get together with Tony and Juliet who we were friends with at Clemson before any of us had kids. They were passing through on their way to a family vacation, and fit us in for some fun stuff with the kids. On Saturday morning we all went to CHOM and I managed to get some pictures.

Here are the Pennas playing in the room full of flying balls and video games.

This is Olivia playing dress up and pretending to take a nap with some dolls in the dolls' bed.

Here Nicholas and Olivia are driving a tug boat.

My camera is bad, but this is John running through his castle that he just built of blocks.

And here are Juliet and Christopher driving produce to market.

On Saturday night everyone came over to our place for dinner and playing with wheeled toys. On Sunday, we let the dads sleep in, and Juliet and I took the kids to the playground in our neighborhood. We ended up letting the kids get in the baby pool, and they got totally soaked, which is surely a sign that they had an awesome time.

I had an awesome time, too, and Olivia is still talking about the Gummy Bears that Miss Juliet brought her! Thanks, Juliet!

The trip north (part 3)

This post could be titled, "The trip south," as that is what we did on Wednesday. Mom came over on Wednesday morning and helped with the kids while I got the car loaded and the last stuff packed. Leo took a two hour nap right off the bat, so we stopped for the first time near Bowling Green, Kentucky. The stops took almost an hour each time by the time I nursed Leo, got gas, used the restroom, changed Olivia's diaper, changed Leo's diaper, and got something out for Olivia to eat. But we didn't have any melt downs. Olivia watched A LOT of Dora on the iPad, but I tried not to feel guilty about that. Here are Olivia and Leo at our last stop about an hour north of Birmingham. It took about ten hours total to get from Elizabeth to Northport.

I dropped both kids off at MMO on Thursday and went home and got some unpacking done. Nicholas got back from Germany at about 6 o'clock that evening and were we glad to see him! He had a good time, too, but was pretty exhausted from the trip.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The trip north (part 2)

My dad graciously took me to the airport at 4 AM on June 8th and picked me up at 2 PM on June 10th. What a great dad I have! And poor Dad had to listen to emotional me on the way back from the airport. Love you, Dad!

On Monday, the kids and I met Grandpa Bill at the Louisville zoo. It threatened rain and did rain a little bit, but that kept things cooler and the crowds down, so it was actually a good thing. Olivia did great playing with Bill while I nursed Leo in the car. She and he fed ducks and looked around until we went into the zoo. She let Bill hold her up to see animals and talked quite a bit. We saw giraffes and grizzly bears, seals and elephants, among lots of others. We had hot dogs for lunch and Olivia loved the french fries. She actually ate the leftovers on the way back to Steph's house. Here are a few pictures.

That afternoon/evening we hung out at the farm. Mom helped me again because I was exhausted from going so much on so little sleep. The kids played more--Abby, Craig, and Olivia really play well together--and I got a little visiting time in with Stephanie.

On Tuesday, the kids and I met Mutti at the Louisville Science Center. There was a great KidsZone that Olivia really loved. She liked playing in the water, riding on the "bus", shopping for groceries, and building things with Mutti. Olivia seemed to like the music buttons she could push, too. While I nursed Leo in the "quiet room" they had set aside for such things, Mutti and Olivia played. Then we went out into the regular part of the museum to the sensory area. Olivia played music by covering up lights on the floor, she ran through a forest of pool noodles hanging from the ceiling, rolled a ball on little roller coaster, pushed a tissue through clear air vents, and built a castle from over sized blocks. After that we had lunch at Subway. Here are a couple of pictures.

The trip north (part 1)

On the 7th of June (Thursday), Nicholas, Olivia, Leo, and I drove up to Kentucky. We dropped Nicholas off at his mom's so that he could go to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, which he didn't end up making it to because he was exhausted. The kids and I drove on to Indiana to my sister Stephanie's place. We left at about 7:30 central time and arrived at Jane's at 4:30 eastern. The trip was pretty smooth, with Nicholas and Olivia hanging out while I nursed Leo in the car twice. Leo took one long nap, and and two short ones. Olivia slept for maybe 30 minutes. She is just not a good car sleeper and Leo kept waking her up. But, she had the iPad to watch Dora on, so she was happy most of the way.

On Friday, Nicholas flew from Louisville back to Alabama. Then, on Saturday, he flew to Germany for a conference for work. He was gone until the following Thursday. In the mean time...

After getting the kids settled in at Steph's, I left on Friday at 4 AM to fly to Cleveland for my friend's wedding. I had lots of expressed milk there for Leo, and Mom and Steph to take care of both kids in tandem. Looks like they had a great time!

Craig holding Leo on Sunday morning. He is such a great kid, and he is such a great big brother and cousin. He loves Abby and can hardly wait for Bratcher Baby #3 this fall!

Craig, Olivia, Abby, and Grandpop on my parents' deck just chillin'.

Olivia said, "This life jacket looks good on me." It does. Even though she had her swimmies with her, she must have wanted to be like the big kids.

After Abby's last baseball game. Olivia kept saying, "1, 2, 3, 6 hit!" and "That was awesome!" and "That's a cool trophy, Abby."

I cannot thank Stephanie and Mom (and Brandon and Craig and Abby) enough for taking care of my babies while I went to be in my friends wedding. I was gone almost 60 hours, and I was a total wreck by the time I got back because I missed them so badly. It was great to go and see my friends, help with the wedding, meet her family, and have my own bed, but I really got no rest because (1) weddings are so much work, and (2) my pump was my best friend. So, I actually came back more tired than when I left. But, I am so glad I had the opportunity to go and the family to take care of Olivia and Leo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting so big!

Olivia and Leo had their two year and four-month well doctor visits yesterday. Here are the stats:

Olivia: 30 lbs, 36.25 inches tall, which is 75th and 95th percentile, respectively -- if what they say is true, her height potential is 6 feet, 1/2 inch! Whoa!

Leo: 16 lbs 10 ounces, 26.25 inches long, which is 75th and 90th percentile, respectively -- that's over a pound more than Olivia at the same time, but only .25 inches longer. My big boy! He is healthy as can be, it seems. Now if I could just get him to sleep through the night! Here is a picture of him with his band-aids from his shots. Olivia did not like her shot, but liked Leo getting shots even less, I think!

In other news, Leo and Olivia started school today for the summer. It was Leo's first school day ever, so here is a photo. He did great when I left because he is not old enough to know really that Mommy is leaving. He didn't nap much (20 minutes) or eat much (3 ounces), but I guess that will come. He took a super long nap this afternoon. Today was the only morning I really get to myself because I start back to work the next time they go. I was not a wreck like I was the first time I dropped off Olivia at Mom's Morning Out. Look how far I've come!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Loving these babies!

Olivia continues her language explosion. On Saturday morning, we had this conversation:

Olivia: What's that?
Me: That's sausage.
Olivia: For me?
Me: Yes, for you.
Olivia: Fantastico! (Obviously, Olivia is loving Dora the Explorer lately.)

Our evening routine has gotten so that I give Leo his bath and feed him while Nicholas gives Olivia her bath and reads to her. I probably haven't given Olivia bath for several weeks. This routine is so ingrained now that Olivia tells me to go check on Leo or fold clothes if I try to partake in the routine. She is loving Daddy so much these days. I'm not looking forward to the day, which I see quickly approaching, when she is purely Daddy's girl! But, I love that their bond has increased so much. Nicholas often reads to Olivia for upwards of 30 minutes every night. Olivia loves all the books we've been getting at the library every week. We try to get five to ten new ones--usually Dora, Diego, Max and Ruby, etc. She requests them and I try to find them.

Olivia has quite the imagination lately, too. I hear her playing with Daddy while she is in the bath tub. She called him "Doctor Daddy" tonight and she was "Doctor Olivia." Here's what I heard:

Olivia: What hurts, Doctor Daddy?
Nicholas: My ear hurts, Doctor Olivia.
Olivia: I can fix that for you. (moment) Woof! (When Olivia's pediatrician looks in Olivia's ears, she pretends that there is a cat or a dog in there.)
Olivia: All better now?
Nicholas: Yes, all better.

And here is Olivia reading to Leo in her crib the other morning. Can you spot the picture Olivia took?

This is Olivia at one of her friends' 2nd birthday party on Saturday. Olivia LOVED the cupcake icing! Several of the moms commented on Olivia's "amazing" vocabulary. One was floored that Olivia was counting (up to 15) as she ran around. I'm totally proud!

And Leo is continuing his solid foods. He went from one teaspoon of oatmeal last Saturday to one tablespoon plus some prunes this Sunday. I am still just doing one feeding a day. I'll work my way up. He's doing great! We are still struggling with the sleep, however. He just wants to nurse all night. And I have created a monster...actually two...because I bring him to bed and fall asleep when he nurses. Bad, bad, bad. But a hard habit to break.

And Nicholas had his annual beginning of the REU party here on Saturday. Here are Olivia and Leo pre-party. Notice that Olivia had some calls to make on her fake pink cell phone in the second picture:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Play time!

Olivia started using her Princess tent again just in time. I was thinking of taking it down as it takes up a lot of space in the living room. She is using it as her beauty shop. She says, "Play at my appointment!" Here are some pictures. She even dressed up Leo:

This one is for Grandpa Bill:

"Look, I'm sitting up!!"

"Look at that cute baby!!" (At CHOM in the baby pond.)

Olivia loves reading. I mean loves it. She "reads", and we read to her. The other day she chose staying home and reading over going to the playground. And she loves Dora books. We act them out at the pool and at home and on the go. Here she is at CHOM reading, in her mermaid crown, and dancing in "Mermaid Kingdom"--notice the paper fish on the floor. (My crafting skills are limited!)

And here is one of Leo sleeping on the floor after nursing. He is in a milk coma, I guess. He slept for 40 minutes like this. I was shocked!