Friday, April 26, 2013

Enjoying these days

I don't know if it is obvious or not how much I enjoy my kids and the opportunity I have to be home with them most of the time. Two Fridays ago the kids and I turned our living room into a restaurant with a stage for performances. Olivia was the live show. Leo was the chef. I was the audience. We had dinner at the little pink table, and then Olivia danced for us...and we did Facetime with Uncle Brandon and Aunt Heidi, and had a blast! Here are a couple of pictures of my cuties!

And when the kids do go to school on MWF, I have simplified down to just these two bags to take with them for their lunches. I've left Olivia's extra outfit at school, and I am just taking Leo's diapers and wipes once every other week. These lovely bags are Thirty One bags, and my cousin Erika is a consultant. Here is a link to her web page if you are interested in getting some! These bags are big enough for teachers to send home school work and notes in the outer pocket, too!

Because Leo was sick last week and I took off two mornings to stay home with him, I sent the kids to school Monday - Thursday this week (the school was closed Friday). It was really too much for all of our happiness. Olivia got grumpy. Leo got tired. I got sad missing my kiddos. So, today, after a whirlwind trip from Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Brandon, and cousin Luke last night--so great to see you guys...why didn't I get pictures?--we went to gymnastics this morning and then had a picnic outside for lunch! Olivia and Leo loved it, but Olivia didn't want her picture taken for some reason.

Later this afternoon when Daddy came home, he needed a minute in the bathroom. Olivia wanted Daddy so much that she said she was going to wait outside the door for him. Because Brother likes to do what she is doing, he came over, stood next to her, and started banging on the door. Olivia got upset and said, "Mommy, get Leo! He is wanting Daddy, but I want him all for myself!" So, I closed the gate and let Olivia wait by herself for Daddy. No one gets a minute peace around here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My big girl

Seriously, my kids are growing up too fast. Olivia is mature for her age, I have no doubt because physically she is tall and wearing a 4T and developmentally her understanding, reasoning, and vocabulary is fantastic. (Of course, I am biased.) But she keeps doing things that make me realize we are just weeks away from having a three-year-old! Shocking! Where has the time gone?!

Here Olivia does a forward roll (on a blanket stained from dragging the kids around the yard). I had been trying to get her to do this at gymnastics class forever, and then Friday, she just busted this out. She is taking gymnastics at school, but I didn't really think they did anything!

Saturday we went to an annual Backyard Bash at the Child Development Center on campus. (We went last can see how much Olivia and Leo have grown since then by looking at this post.) They had a blast! I didn't get many pictures because there was a lot to do and I had two kids wanting to do the activities. Pictured is throwing balls/other stuff through hoops, kicking balls through "gates", and digging in beans. Not pictured was twister on a board painted on the grass, bean bag toss, hula-hooping, making a piggy bank, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, bowling, and snacks! We had fun and everyone took a good nap that afternoon!

What this doesn't show is how polite Olivia was and what a great helper and sharer she is with Leo. I could not be more proud!

Monday and today, Olivia was pretty upset that she had to go to school without Leo. She cried when I dropped her off both times (but her teacher texted me and told me she calmed down quickly, and Olivia told me both afternoons when I picked her up that she had a "great day!") In any case, we skipped Olivia's nap today so that she and I could have special time since I have been carrying Leo around and focusing a lot of attention on him while he's been sick. We had a blast in the backyard having snacks, getting out the pool to warm in the sun, and working on her activity book that she got at the bookfair last week. When Leo woke up later, we went back out for more fun! I'm so excited the warm weather has arrived!

My dangerous boy

Seriously, Leo is everywhere. He runs to the street and thinks it's a game. He scales the couch and laughs. He stands up on chairs and bounces. He gets on the rocking lamb we have and stands up trying to balance. He crawls up onto the ottoman and dances (see below--this just before he launched himself off the ottoman and into my arms, luckily). I didn't realize quite how cautious Olivia was at this age and still is. I cannot leave Leo alone for a second! I don't know how mothers of boys keep them safe! Olivia calls Leo "danger boy." True.

I am continuing to wean Leo. It's taking longer than expected, but I am getting there. We were down to a morning and night nursing as of last Wednesday. He's not a big drinker of anything, though. He can work a sippy cup just fine, but isn't that interested in milk. He might drink a cup a day. He will take some juice sometimes, and water, too. But, I was pleasantly surprised that, like his mother and sister, he loves the sweet milk leftover after eating cereal.

Leo continues to talk more and more. He often says, "I want that." He uses the word "this" a lot and points to whatever I am offering. I believe that is because I say, "Do you want this?" and he is just repeating the last thing I said. He often repeats the last word or two of what someone says. When Olivia says something loud, like "No, no, no!!", he repeats it and giggles. Then she giggles and says, "Mommy, say 'good talking, Leo' and clap your hands!" because that is what I usually do. He likes to repeat sounds as well. One of his favorite books right now has a cow saying, "Moo, moo, moo" in it, and he likes to repeat that and "Yahoo!"

Leo has been sick since Sunday. Poor little guy has been coughing, has runny matted eyes and nose, and has had draining from his ears. I kept him home from school Monday. Tuesday he was worse and I had a fever of 101.5 and felt like my head was going to explode, so I felt really sorry for him since I didn't realize how bad he was feeling. Today I kept him home from school and took him to the ENT. He said Leo just has a nasty cold probably in combination with allergies. So, ear drops and Zyrtec. Leo was feeling better this afternoon, though, as was I, so we all played in the backyard with some water! This was Leo's second outfit of four today because he kept getting dirty and soaked. Later while I was pulling weeds in the garden, he came over and shoveled a spoonful of dirt into his mouth. Surprise! I don't think he'll do that again!

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's official! Spring is here!!

We had another great week of playgrounds, playdates, and gardening!!

The kids have really been enjoying the kitchen set that Abby let us bring back to AL! Leo loves it more than Olivia, I think. He entertains himself for fives of minutes at a time in this thing! Sometimes I hear him laughing about something he is doing in there and check on him to find him putting his pink spoon in a jug or taking the lid off a pot. We haven't quite decided where to put it yet, so it is set up by the front door in the great room. I like it there for the kids to play with near me, but it is in the middle of everything!

I had a small pseudo-Kindermusik playdate here on Thursday, and I think it went pretty well! We made drums from canisters and then had 30 minutes of structured sing/dance/activity time. Here is where the kids were going on "hayrides" for one of your songs.

We hit our playground several times. Leo is getting adventurous and climbs onto the see-saw himself. He also gets into and out of the playground on his own, which he finds hilarious.

Olivia has been using the black barrier to the playground as a balance beam and did great, except when I wanted to take a picture. She saw a huge bee there the other day, though, and is afraid to go back. Ugh.

So, today, we made the trek to the Riverwalk playground, and it was great! Very age appropriate play equipment, shaded, beautiful scenery, and Daddy met us there after work! Wonderful! 

And here are some silly Leo photos:

Just hanging out reading a book before school with his spoon in his lap. I did not pose him.

He found his paci in the afternoon and decided to hold it like a cigarette. He cracks me up.

After dinner, Olivia had ice cream. I gave Leo a spoon with some on it for a taste. He walked over to my shoe and put it in there instead! Yuck!

This weekend, Nicholas started cleaning out the garage on Saturday, and I cleared a space in the garden for planting the zinnia seeds Olivia and I had bought a month ago. After Olivia's nap, she danced and sang, "I'm so excited to see if my zinnias have grown!" Then she was disappointed that they had not! So, we went to Lowes and bought some seedlings to plant, too. Here is our garden so far! And some playtime fun after the planting!

Bed time stories

On of my favorite parts of the day is bedtime for babies. I love the routine that Nicholas and I have gotten into with the kids: dinner, bubbles and dancing, bath, snacks, story time, brushing teeth, and bed time. All four of us are often on the couch together. Other times Nicholas reads to Olivia there while I read to Leo on the floor. Tonight, Leo shoved onto my lap while I was reading to Olivia. Nicholas took some pictures of us on the couch tonight.  I love my little family of four. I really am so grateful for them.

My child, too!

My mom sent me this photo of me when I was around Olivia's age. Even though I was fatter than Olivia is, I see the resemblance! Hooray! Nicholas's side of the family swears that she looks just like he did. It's good to have a little proof that she looks a bit like me, too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break! Woo hoo!

We spent the first weekend of Spring break at home getting ready for our trip on Monday. Nicholas was sick, and I was on the verge, but we pressed on for our trip to Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri. The trip up was a little rough since Olivia did not nap at all and Leo only got an hour nap for the entire day. But, we made it to Mom's house and were greeted by the smells of homemade bread (thanks, Mom!) and the sounds of cousins ready to play! Olivia and Leo LOVE Craig and Abby!

Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the trip from Monday through Saturday. I'll give a quick recap, which you can skip, but I will write down since this really is kind of my diary:

Tuesday: We visited Mutti's place for a while. She had lots of presents waiting for the kids--Easter baskets, a doll named Kissy for Olivia, a Lego set for Leo, stickers, candy, and other fun stuff! Leo took a good nap and then woke in a great mood for playing. Olivia played and enjoyed Mutti a lot! We left Nicholas there so that he could spend some time with his mom. The kids and I went back to Mom's house for naps, had dinner on the farm, and had play time with Steph and her kids.

Wednesday: We visited Mutti for a little while, I tried to get Leo to take a nap to no avail, and then we met up with Grandpa Bill at his new old house. The place looks awesome, and we are all excited for he and Tamara to move in so that we can visit and play there. We had lunch with Grandpa Bill at Cafe Lou Lou's, and then the kids had melt downs and we had to go back to the farm for naps. At this point, we realized that Olivia had pink eye. The kids played again that evening.

Thursday: Nicholas and I hung out at the farm with Mom, Steph, and Luke until the kids' nap times. Then Nicholas and I drove to St. Louis in Mom's big truck with a load of baby stuff for Heidi. The drive was a nice time for Nicholas and I to visit since we rarely get that much adult time to just talk. We met up with Heidi and Alex that evening, got a tour of the house, and went to a great pizza place for dinner. We celebrated Nicholas's tenure promotion with dessert!

Friday: I slept in late! Then Heidi and I ran some errands, took naps, and got my hair cut at her usual place that specializes in curly hair: Bouffant Daddy! It was great, and I even learned about my hair. That evening, we got ice cream and got a tour of their neighborhood: Webster Groves. We also returned the curtain rods for their baby's room and got the right size ones. Alex made dinner in that evening, and we relaxed and talked until my bedtime. What a great visit!

Back on the farm, the kids were playing! Stephanie kept Abby home from school to play. They put on caps, and Olivia said they looked like farmers! Then they went to Grandma Clara's to play with the baby ducks...they were bigger than babies, thankfully, since my two were a little rough with them! They even fed chickens, which Olivia loves to do! Later they played show horse on the trampoline and took turns telling each other what to do: gallop, trot, reverse, jump, etc. 


Saturday: Nicholas and I drove back to the farm a little later than we meant to. Olivia spent most of the time we were gone at Steph's house playing with Abby and my cousin Justin's daughter Lilly. Leo hung out with Mom. They all did great! Saturday they went to our little town's Easter Egg hunt, too. I don't think Olivia missed us. On the second night, Leo cried and Mom came in to check on him. She said that he looked at her like, "Oh. It's you again." Leo was happy to see us! We had dinner at Steph's that evening and played with the kids outside. 

Sunday: The Easter bunny came! I finally got some pictures. Steph set up an Easter egg hunt at Mom's house and the kids collected A LOT of eggs! Here are some pictures from that:

And later that day, on the way home, Leo took two naps. 

Nap one:

Nap two:

Which, thankfully, coincided with Olivia's nap:

And we found out that Leo loves milkshakes! He has his momma's sweet tooth!