Friday, February 28, 2014

Credit for the blog design

I meant to make mention that the credit for the blog design goes in most part to I accidentally went there one day instead of to my site, and found a bunch of banners. I initially thought I could figure out how to make that look nice on my blog, but decided it wasn't what I needed since mine is so wide. And since I like having really big pictures, I didn't want to worry with it. Then I figured out how to tweak a few things on their templates, and ta da! Here it is! (Get it for yourself right here!)

Nothing much

We haven't really been up to very much. Just the same old playing, going to the library, ballet, working, laughing at our silly kids and hanging in there. Nicholas got strep throat after Olivia and was very sick for several days, but he is thankfully better now. Here are some pictures from the past week or so.

Painting continues to be a favorite activity. This was one evening after going to the playground when Daddy promised to paint with Leo.

Olivia wanted this sign for her room after seeing a similar one in Max and Ruby. I wrote. She drew. Ha! Now she turns it around when Leo is allowed in.

After taking one of Olivia's friends to ballet with us Tuesday and having the friend's carseat in the middle seat, Olivia insisted that her carseat should be in the middle so that SHE can help Leo instead of Amelia. Amelia handed me something that Leo wanted to give me, and this really upset Olivia since she thought she should be the one to help!

We took care of one of my friends cats last weekend, and the kids LOVED it! The cats perhaps less so! 

We took an afternoon trip to the McWane Science Center on Wednesday and had a great time, even without naps from either kid! They have a new robot exhibit out that the kids were mesmerized by!

The goldfinches are here in abundance, and the kids get a huge kick out them! I do, too!

The mall is a favorite place of the kids since they like to get 25 cent candy, throw pennies in the fountains, climb on the play cars/trucks that you can pay 75 cents for a ride, and generally just look at stuff. Here is why I am not going to take the kids with me to VS anymore. I stopped in for something basic, and Olivia looked around and said, "There are lots of things here in my size! I love this pink store!" On the way out, I had a hard time getting Leo to leave. See below. Oh, my!

And a post script is that Nicholas came home early today and played with the kids while I went to my first yoga class in forever! It really was Yoga Bliss! And the kids had a wonderful time playing play dough, doing Easter egg hunts, and ballet dancing with super Dad while I was gone. This is the Easter dress Olivia talked me into at the mall the other day as it was 40% off. Now to find outfits for the rest of us to match!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sunny days!

I love the sun! No, really, I LOVE the sun! I'm not the I-want-to-lay-out-and-bake type, but I am the I-need-a-bit-of-sunshine-everyday type. I love to get outside everyday and get the kids out, too. Here are some pictures of us doing just that during the past couple of weeks.

We attempted to go to cheer on Alabama at an indoor men's tennis match two Sundays ago, but the noise inside was scary to Olivia, so we headed outside and enjoyed the beautiful facility and the gorgeous sunshine!

We stopped by a playground we hadn't been to in a while on Thursday and lots of fun in the sun! We even had a picnic lunch there, which the kids got a kick out of! We had so much fun that we repeated the trip on Saturday morning! Olivia loves to pretend that the middle play gym thing is her business. Sometimes she is a seamstress and she wants me to pretend to by Aunt Heidi dropping off some fabric to make baby booties or a baby blanket for Isaac. Sometimes she is a banker, a dry cleaner, or a chef. She cracks me up! Leo loves the swings, and wants me to push him "High to the sky!"

On Sunday, all four of us went to the Birmingham zoo, and enjoyed each other, the animals, the children's zoo, the train, the carousel, and the sunshine!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sick days

On Sunday after we came home from the zoo, we spent two hours outside riding bikes and going to the playground. When we got home, Olivia insisted she was super cold and needed to warm herself by the fire. She asked Daddy to hold her, and he was happy to oblige since she doesn't often request a real cuddle session. Olivia didn't want to eat, and it turned out she had a fever. That night she went to bed early, and had a very bad night. She was up so much that I ended up bringing her to our bed, and Nicholas slept in the office. 

By six AM, her fever was 102.9, she was vomiting, and she had asked for an ice pack for her lower right side. When she asked for an ice pack, the thought of an appendicitis occurred to me and I called the pediatrician. By this time, Olivia felt horrible. She didn't want to get dressed or brush her teeth. She didn't want to get out of bed. I packed a bag for the hospital in case we needed to go there, and headed for the pediatrician's office first since they arrived at 7:30. The nurse said that it was very unlikely Olivia had appendicitis since she was able to walk on her own. I took this as good news. But Olivia continued to complain of her side hurting and fell asleep in my arms while we waited for the doctor. We saw the doctor about 8:15, and she agreed that it was very unlikely appendicitis, although she would have been more keen to consider it had Olivia been a couple years older. On a whim, Dr. Gambrell suggested doing a strep test on Olivia even though she hadn't been complaining of her throat hurting. Olivia cried and clutched me when the nurse tried to swab her throat, but then finally relented when I explained that the doctor couldn't stop her headache, vomiting, and fever if she didn't do tests. So, five minutes later Olivia was diagnosed with strep. Dr. Gambrell said that some kids presented strep this way, and Olivia would probably have these symptoms again if she ever gets strep. 

Nicholas had taken Leo to school and met us at the doctor's office. While I took her home, he ran to my office to get my laptop since I had pressing work and then went to pick up the prescription. Olivia took the antibiotics without throwing up, but then wasn't able to keep down her Tylenol four hours after her last dose of ibuprofen when her fever was 103.9. I called back the doctor worried that her fever was so high. By this time Olivia was shaking and shivering, screaming when I tried to convince her to get in the bath tub. While I went to the pharmacy for Tylenol suppositories on the advice of the pediatrician, Nicholas stayed with Olivia, held her and calmed her down, and convinced her to get into bed. The pharmacist and I were concerned about the amount of Tylenol that Olivia might have had in her system since she threw up an undetermined amount. And, honestly, I really didn't want to have to try to give her a suppository. So, Olivia napped when I got home for about an hour and woke up asking for ice pops and fruit. She kept part of a Bomb pop, two strawberries, and some grapes down. Her fever had come down to 102.3 and things were looking up. By that afternoon, Olivia wanted to go outside and sit on the porch and put her feet in the grass. I was so relieved!

These pictures are when Olivia's fever was super high. It was the worst I have ever seen her feel, and I hope that remains the worst I ever see her feel in all her days. Poor sweet girl.

The next day, we had an at-home-pajama day so Olivia could recuperate. (Read: We missed ANOTHER ballet class--that's five since the beginning of January due to weather and illness. Argh!) We had lots of activities, though!

Painting the flowers Daddy bought her.
Even Leo decided to stay in his pajamas and play with marbles!

Later we played the Princess and the Pea outside. Leo was Prince Leonidas who loved Cheetos.

I really need to pass those pants on to Luke!

We used a real pea under one of those pillows and Olivia thought that was awesome! Leo just liked the Cheetos!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, 2014!

Valentine's Day isn't a big holiday in our house, even though Olivia and Leo made SO many Valentine's this year for their school friends, their other friends who are the kids of my stay-at-home-mom-friends, and our family. We decorated a bit at Olivia's insistence with paper heart banners and paper heart pendants hanging from the fans in our house. Olivia and Leo also played postman around the house delivering Valentine's for a couple of weeks since that is part of the fun! On the actual day, Olivia and Leo had a sock hop at school. Olivia wouldn't wear the '50's outfit I had for her because according to her,"the sleeves feel funny." So, she wore her ballet outfit to school and Leo just wore a Valentine's shirt. I am such a failure at getting my kids to dress in cute outfits and stay clean! Here is the link to Olivia's teacher's account of the day.

That evening we celebrated Valentine's day by making heart pancake kabobs. Olivia has been wanting to make pancake kabobs for a while now since we read an Arthur book called "Arthur Flips" where Muffy has a recipe for pancake kabobs. We got a lot of fruit and pancakes and Olivia assembled the delicacies! On Fridays, Olivia gets to take a shower and we get out the blow-up mattress and let the kids watch a TV show before bed and have snacks. They love this! So, that is how we celebrated Valentine's Day, and it really was lovely to do that as a family of four!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mr. Leo and Miss Olivia

Leo had his well check-up Thursday. He weighed 29 lbs 12 ounces (70th percentile) and was 35 and 3/4 inches (87th percentile), which put his BMI in the 40th percentile and the doctor was pleased with. His hemoglobin stick showed he has sufficient iron. Poor little guy had to have a second Hep A shot, and he wasn't thrilled about it, but he didn't cry for long when Olivia told him he could have a "lolli!"

The birthday balloons!

 We had a lazy day last Sunday. I tried cleaning the house by getting the kids interested in other things. We did twenty minutes of playtime and then twenty minutes of cleaning. Often, I cleaned and they continued playing, which was fantastic! Here is the library tent!

Then we did some play dough. Leo loves making stuff that resembles food!

Later that afternoon, we played "daycare." Olivia is Miss Olivia, Leo is Mr. Leo, and I am Ms. Christine. Usually I am the teacher, Olivia is a mom, and Leo is the older sister to one of the dolls. The way they play is so endearing. Leo likes to pick up his little sister and take her to the playground or help her with a number puzzle. Olivia always drops fun things off for her baby to play with. So cute!

Monday, we did some chalk. Did you know if you did chalk in water and then use it on paper, it is very bright? I didn't, but now I do! Leo's class did that last week for his "Great Master's" week.

And whenever we can get outside to bike, we do it. Even in five minute increments! Olivia is totally into it, and I'm glad! Leo is starting to really be able to move the trike, too!


In an effort to combat the February blahs, I decided to pick up the kids from school on Wednesday and drive to Birmingham to the science center. They were both stoked, and neither napped there or back. I was waiting for a melt-down from Leo, but just a minor fit happened which was taken care of with a snack. I am SO glad we went, though, because NO ONE WAS THERE!! and because of that Olivia was brave enough to do a lot of stuff she hadn't ever before. Here are some bad pictures snippets of the trip.

And Grandpa and Tamara's present for Leo came this week! The kids love it! Ha! Thanks!

And I promise to get some silly quotes up here from these kids. This was on Facebook, but for grandparents, here is what happened the morning after Leo's birthday:

Me: Good morning, Leo! What do you think we should do today?
Leo: I want my birthday again!

And this is from one evening when Olivia and Nicholas were reading, with Olivia actually doing the reading.
Olivia: Daddy, I can't see the pictures if I am trying to read!