Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's official!! Nicholas has tenure!!

Nicholas got word from the university today that he has been tenured!! He heard from the dean over a month ago, but the official letter came today. We had a cake a month ago. Today, since I had about twenty minutes notice, he got a banner, which you can hardly see in this picture. Olivia decorated it with random stickers, and she drew a 1 and a cross "like the mean men put Jesus on." Oh, my. But that is for another post.

Congratulations, Nicholas! You deserve it! It has been a labor of love!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just another afternoon at our house!

In Leo's Kindermusik class this term, there is a song about a hayride. The kids love to take (and give) hayrides while I have that song on repeat! Olivia was really only strong enough to pull Leo in circles (He is 24 lbs and she is 33 lbs as of Tuesday at the doctor.) Olivia later pulled her dolls around in the basket. On a side note, she has never been really into her baby dolls. She only has two. The other day she and I were playing while Leo was napping. I asked her what we should name her dolls. She looked at one and said, "Pork." I couldn't help but laugh. Then she named her other one, "Baker Pie." Then she decided that the first one should be named "Baker Pie Two." The names stuck and that is what we are calling these poor dolls! (I know why she is naming her dolls after food. A few weeks ago, we checked out a Strawberry Shortcake book from the library and all the characters had the names of food: Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Muffin, Plum Pudding, etc.)

Leo did a pretty good job with his first real finger painting experiment today. He didn't eat it, which was success in my book! A lot of it got on his tray, but since everything was washable, it was okay.

We didn't head to the playground this afternoon as we have most days lately because Leo has just not been feeling great. I took both kids to the doctor Tuesday because Olivia has had a cough that worsens at night for over a month. Leo just started a cough last week and his ears are draining some super nasty stuff. The doctor put Olivia on Zyrtec for possible allergies and Leo on ear drops. I have a script for antibiotics if his ears don't stop running tomorrow. She said that he would definitely have had another ear infection if he didn't have the tubes in, so I am (again) glad we went ahead with that.

In other news about the kids, Leo has lost five toddler spoons now. He carries them around with him like a security object. He takes a pink one to school, to the playground, and often to bed. I am going to have to buy more, which is easier said than done given that I can't seem to find three packs of the ones he likes, just the cutlery sets--he doesn't need a knife and fork to walk around with, too. He would be happy to do it, but I take those away. He has taken to going to the dishwasher and pulling out the spoon he likes. Monday he took a dirty spoon to school--it had Nutella on it and was gross, but I figured if it made him happy, I could endure the judgement.

Olivia has been going through a scared stage--she was afraid of the TV because a commercial (for paper towels) about a kids' science project spurting ketchup all over the kitchen got everything messy, she gets afraid of books--Berenstein Bears, Dr. Suess, etc. pretty easily if something is "not nice", and she was afraid of pooping on the potty because the water splashed her (so she would tell me when she had to go, we put her diaper on, she went, and then we changed it). I am happy to report that I think that we are starting to exit the scared stage!! Olivia is pooping on the potty with no problems for about three weeks now. She will watch our TV occasionally. And two nights in a row, she told me she had good dreams about me! Hooray!

Today I realized that I can finish this sentence of Olivia's every time: Let's go to my room, and ... "put on my fanciest gown!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt

We have a great neighborhood HOA, and each year they put on a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. We had to wake our's up from naps to get there on time, so they look a little dazed, but I think everyone had a fun time! The weather was beautiful, too, so we stayed and played with our neighbors at the playground!

Dear Diary, 3/16/2013

I meant to publish this Saturday, but it was tiring taking care of the kids while Nicholas was away to a conference for several days... Thursday was a rough day, but Olivia and Leo were angels the rest of the time. Still, tiring and so, another post of just pictures. 

Leo "talking" on the phone.

Daddy doing Facetime with the kids after dinner one night. He was reacting to Olivia's story about the day. I forget what it was, but she comes up with some good ones!

Leo loves to rock on his little lamb, play hide-and-seek around the ottoman, and eat his new favorite food: raisins!

Olivia is swinging so well now--pumping her legs back and forth. And Leo loves to play with the rocks and is mostly not putting them in his mouth anymore!

Olivia and Leo had a great time at CHOM Saturday morning when they sought green St. Patrick's Day coins. They ended up with 65 and traded them for a junk cup, tattoo, and two bouncy balls. Here Olivia is making a kaleidescope in her "fairy" costume. She remembered that Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather have hats that tie around their heads and wanted one like that.

And Olivia and Leo wanted to walk home from the playground the other day, and were so cute holding hands!!

Six seconds of holding hands.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Last week really felt like spring. The weather here was gorgeous! And we certainly enjoyed it by playing in the yard and going to our neighborhood playground a lot! I've got a lot of pictures from my phone to sum up the week:

On Thursday morning, Olivia had a dentist appointment. She was a little worried about the bright lights bothering her. When I told my sister Stephanie this on the phone while we chatted for a minute that morning, she suggested we take sunglasses. I, of course, forgot Olivia's sunglasses, but she wore mine and it was fine. I didn't get a photo of her in the dentist's chair with them on, but here is one of her in the car. (Yes, she is holding an egg carton. She wanted to take them to Grandma Clara, my grandma in Indiana who has laying hens.) Olivia did great at the dentist--no cavity club! And the dentist agrees with me about her paci--limit it as much as possible, but if you take it away and she starts to suck on her thumb, fingers, and wrist like she does...give it back and try again later.

Here we are at the playground that afternoon. Olivia loves helping Leo! And Leo loves to swing!

Leo discovered the backyard this week and wants to be out there all the time. He goes to the back door and bangs on it, or points outside, letting me know what he wants. He loves walking around out there and playing! And he navigates the terrain very well--very little falling down from the porch to the yard or back.

Olivia is beginning to get the pumping her legs concept so that she can swing on her own at the playground! This is great news so that I don't have to run between the "big girl swings" and the "baby swings."

Leo likes to ride the teter-toter and lift it up and down, and have me say up and down. He can say "up" and is working on saying "down." One of Leo's other favorite playground activities is playing with rocks and cups. I figure it is good for motor skills and language development as we talk about in and out and pouring rocks.

 Sunday afternoon while Leo was napping, Nicholas and Olivia went over to our neighbor's house to play in the backyard with their daughter who is six months older than Olivia. They have a great play set outside, and played for two hours! Leo and I joined them for the second hour. When we got back, the kids wanted more outside time, so Nicholas took them outside while I cooked dinner. This is what I saw out the back door! Signs of spring! (I had been refusing to "drag" Olivia for several days saying that the ground was too wet. Olivia is Daddy's girl! And Leo had a great time, too, obviously!)

Leo's sleep is a continuing journey. One night we don't hear a peep out of him from 8 PM to 5 AM, and then the next he wakes 12 times, but gets himself back to sleep most times. I'm still hopeful that I will soon be able to call him a "great sleeper!" He is learning new words all the time and really trying to talk. Today in Kindermusik he tried to say "boom" because that word was used a lot in one song.

And other Olivia funnies:

One night Olivia was playing with a UA pom-pom and decided to give me a "beauty appointment." We play that sometimes where she fixes my hair and says silly things. This was a new one, "Mommy, you need a punishment because your hair looks crazy!"

And another day Olivia was in a hurry for something, I can't remember what. She said to me, "I'm serious. Chop, chop!" Those are my exact words to her often when she is lolly gagging and I am trying to get us out the door. She is a good listener!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

One dress

My sister Stephanie has so graciously saved her daughter Abby's clothes for Olivia even though the two are two months shy of four years apart. It's been wonderful to have these clothes, and when Nicholas came back from his trip, he brought Abby's 4T and 5T clothes. As I sorted through them this week, I found one dress that I bought for Abby when I was pregnant with Olivia. I bought the same dress for Olivia in size 12 months. And I bought these dresses because my friend Stacey, who works at Target, told me about the limited engagement by the designer at Target. I love these dresses! 

When I first bought them:

Abby wearing her dress at my shower (she was three and a half)

Olivia's four month pictures

Olivia running around the house, twirling, on Tuesday. I could not get a still shot.

Leo's first haircut!!

When I texted my sister Stephanie a picture of Leo playing with a toy she sent back with Nicholas while he was up north last week, she said Leo's hair was looking pretty long. I asked Nicholas if he thought Leo needed a haircut and he said he did. Whoops, I wasn't thinking it because I just saw sweet Leo, but I realized they were right. On Wednesday afternoon, we headed for Kidz Kutz in Northport, and it was super easy! It took about five minutes, during which time the kids sat in a Hummer toy car and watched Elmo. Leo started to look like he was going to cry a couple of times, but he never did. And now Leo looks so grown up and even more adorable!




Leo's 12-month pictures

After night two of Ferber, we had Leo's 12-month pictures on a day when he didn't have a second nap. It was a little rough. Philip and Jennifer were outstanding to get these shots! Sweet Leo was just so done!