Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday funnies


  • On counting
    • Olivia: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, ...
    • Me: It goes 14, 15, 16, 17....
    • Olivia: No, you're wrong. You don't know, Mom. (This has since resolved itself and she includes 15 now!)
  • On infinite numbers 
    • Olivia: Can you count to a number that will take you until morning to reach?
    • Me: I could, but I'm not going to.
    • Olivia: You mean there is a number that big!! Is is sixty ten? Is it 133?
  • On her social circle at school
    • Me: Who did you play with on the playground?
    • Olivia: Everyday, they line up to play with me. They say, "Play with me, play with me." They just bunch up around me!! (Ha! Olivia's teachers have told me that she plays with everyone and often a different person everyday. Lately, though, she's been playing with a boy named Jackson who she says she is going to marry. Ha!)
  • On marriage
    • Three weeks ago when we were on our way home from Marbles and the kids were sitting in the back
      • Olivia: I want to marry Leo. I just really, really like him!
    • Last week
      • Olivia: I am going to marry Jackson, but Cameron wants to marry him, too! Two girls and one boy...what are we going to do?!
      • Leo: I am going to marry Olivia.
      • Olivia: No, I am marrying Jackson.
      • Leo: Okay, I'll marry Mommy.
      • Olivia: No, she's married to Daddy, so you can't.
      • Leo: (Pause) I'll marry Miss Christie! (That was their babysitter from Friday night when Nicholas and I went out!) 
  • On housework
    • Me: Olivia, pick up your bathrobe and hang it up in your closet.
    • Olivia: I can't! I have a baby to take care of and she's a lot of work!


  • On favorites
    • Me: What's your favorite color, Leo?
    • Leo: Mom! It's orange, of course!! (As if there was any other option!!)
  • On food
    • Me: Are you sure you want a tortilla? It doesn't have cheese on it.
    • Leo: I love tortillas! They are super yummy!!
  • When something goes wrong
    • Leo: Oh, my goodness!!
  • On what people say
    • Leo: That girl said, "Oh, boy!" Just like Grandma Dorothy says!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kids' room updates & mudroom organization

Nicholas did it all except for the letters and canopy in Olivia's room. Thanks, honey!!

Two VERY orange walls! Leo LOVES orange and requested all his walls be painted that color. We're halfway there!

Maybe this embarrassing photo will get me to move on the baby's room! But it has come a long way! The blue looks great, Nicholas!

I can't remember if I posted about the huge princess stickers Olivia wanted so badly! Nicholas put them each up and they were a labor of love!

I put up the letters, art, and canopy.

Not the best picture...but you see the general gist of where things are.

And my favorite! We added a calendar and place for mail (top), Olivia's papers (middle), and Leo's papers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Status updates


Nicholas is badass! He went to a conference for his research area in Victoria, Canada during the first part of the month, and while he was there, he was named program chair for that conference in 2016. Plus he was asked to apply to be director of a computer science program at a university in NY, which is by invitation only. Kudos to you, honey! We are super proud of you and excited about what this move has meant for your career and for our family!

Also, Nicholas has his braces off as of last week!!! He's had them on since just after Olivia was born, so the kids don't know him any other way. Leo keeps asking him to put "those things on your teeth" back on, but I am sure he will get used to his new smile, which I love, soon!

And finally, Nicholas has been Mr. Fix It around here and Mr. Pick Up The Slack as I get fatter and more bossy. He stayed home from our Indiana trip in part to paint Leo's room orange and Baby's room blue. He also sealed grout, put up curtains, and did other stuff that just needed to be done. Pictures to follow.


Olivia is loving school! She has learned to write her name SO much better than she had been able to do it. What I am most proud of, though, is how well she seems to be making friends and dealing with new situations. She continues to be very observant of everyone at school, and usually makes a daily report of anything unusual! Her school is doing "LetterLand," which is what most NC schools use in Kindergarten through second grade to learn letters and sounds, and she is excited to learn the songs that go with each letter. She already knows all her letters and sounds, but is getting more with writing them and seeing them in more words.

Olivia started a gymnastics/dance class this week, which she says is the class for her. It is fifteen minutes of tap, fifteen minutes of ballet, and thirty minutes of gymnastics. She had a great time! And it is totally recital at the end, no commitment to sign up all year, etc. I'm glad we found it!


Leo is talking up a storm at school and at home. His teachers said that they are amazed that he will tell full stories and said, "That's not typical for our two-year-old room." In fact, that is probably what keeps him awake--as Stephanie noticed on the ride home from the zoo--when he might normally nap. He has given up his daily nap for the most part--maybe once or twice a month, he still will nap.

Leo is SO ready for potty training, but is stubborn and doesn't want to do it. He tells me when he needs to poop and goes and finds a place to do it. If I get too close, he says, "Stay out of my pooping spot!" He keeps his diaper dry for hours, but I cannot get him to go on the potty. Even when I get him to sit on it, he can't seem to go even when it looks like he is trying. Then he soaks his diaper so much it leaks. I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and do the "three-day-challenge" and get him trained pre-baby.

Christine & Baby

I very often question how stay-at-home-moms (or moms in general) do it all: keep a clean, organized house, spend good, quality time with the kids, document the journey, have time for their husbands, continue their friendships, contribute to their kids' school, stay organized and on top of bills and money, do fun things with family and friends, stay groomed, stay fit, serve healthy meals, and sleep. And I have even more recently come to the conclusion that they don't. Something has to give. And for me that has been blogging and my house cleaning has taken a hit in favor of sleep. My body is calling a time-out! Wednesday of last week before our Indiana trip, I felt so badly with Braxton Hicks contractions that I called Nicholas to meet me at my OB's office. When I called to complain about the frequency of contractions, they said to come in. Nicholas took the kids home to play, while they put me on the contraction monitor and did an ultrasound. The good news is that Baby is growing well and is measuring a week and a half ahead, my placenta moved way out of the way so that I won't need to have a c-section, and my contractions aren't changing anything to predict pre-term labor. The bad news is that I have an "irritable uterus" that seems to start a contraction every five minutes or so. At least that is what was happening on the monitor. I know it isn't like that every hour of the day since I can feel it, but it is exhausting that there are hours of every day that it is happening. Sigh. So, more laying-down time for me is what I need, but there is just. so. much. to. do!

October Indiana Trip

The kids and I made the trek to Indiana last week to visit family. I was also carrying a van load of girl clothes to store at Steph's in case another girl enters the family, and planning on bringing home a van load of boy clothes and baby stuff from Heidi since Leo's clothes have been passed down through Luke and Isaac and added to most generously!

We headed out Thursday morning at 5:15. Nicholas helped me carry the sleeping kids to the car. As we buckled Olivia in, she said smiling, "I've been waiting for this! We're going to Aunt Stephanie's!!" Leo was totally up then. As we pulled out and the full moon shone on us, he said, "Look at the sun!" I told him it was the moon. Then he whispered to Olivia while gazing at all the street lamps in our neighborhood, "Look at all the moons!!" The kids didn't go back to sleep until that evening at 9 PM. Incredible, because I could have gone back to sleep! But, I digress....

The trip went smoothly. The first night we played outside and, as usual, the kids got along great!

The next day we hit the zoo, which was decorated for Halloween. The misty weather kept the crowd away, and our timing was perfect as it started raining as we left. The kids had a blast!

Soon after the last picture in the series below, the gorilla banged the glass where Olivia's hand is. She didn't like that, and we hit the road!

We got to see them feed the polar bear cub in the latter picture!

The lorikeets are always a hit!

Leo LOVES his cousins! So does Olivia, of course, but I felt like this was the first trip Leo was so vocal about loving both of them. It was precious!

I got a nap that afternoon, which was glorious! Then more playing, of course! 

Saturday morning we played with Mutti and Uncle Chuck. The kids, again, had so much fun. This was the first time that Olivia was super into Uncle Chuck, and my she was! They really had fun playing, which was great for me since I was definitely slowing down by then. Their favorite game was "Tickle Tunnel," which the adults agreed looked like torture!

Mom and Grandma made it in from ND Saturday night. They had been delayed two days due to bad luck with their truck, and they were hauling horses to winter in Indiana, so the drive was not easy. But, Steph's mother-in-law Cindy, who is an angel, made us dinner for the second day in a row, so Mom and Grandma were greeted with delicious roast beef and green beans from her garden. Yum!

Sunday, we played around the farm, and since I wasn't feeling well, I took two naps. Although I missed the pumpkin painting, the playing on the hay bales, and the horse back riding, I was there for playing "show cattle" in the new show barn, for digging sweet potatoes, for swinging and playing in the backyard, for playing in the kids-built fort, and for roasting marshmallows on the no-good fire that I helped build! We really did have a blast!

We headed out on a stormy morning at about 5:30 on Monday. The storm plus the dark seemed to help the kids sleep, and Olivia slept until almost 7:45! Leo slept part of that time, too. The trip home is never as easy as on the way there, but we made it in about twelve hours. The mountains in West Virginia were gorgeous with color as we drove through. The stops became longer the longer we are on the road, but all in all the kids did really well. I even got some pictures of them smiling at the last rest area.

I do not envision myself making that trek with three kids four and under, so I think it might be a while before we get back. Maybe in the summer....

Until then we have lots of fun memories!! And a big house here in NC to hold visitors!