Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dinosaur Bones!

Olivia is really into dinosaurs lately. This new fascination kind of came out of nowhere, but I think there were a few contributing factors:

Her new favorite movie is Toy Story and there's a character, Rex, who is not at all the mighty and fearless meat-eater, but just an anxious dino with an inferiority complex who wants badly to be scarier. His worst fear: "What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I don't think I can take that kind of rejection."

There's also a bin of plastic dinosaurs in the childcare area at the gym. Every time I go work out, she runs straight to the bin of dinosaurs. Not sure why she does the "Dino dash" every single time, but she does!

We decided to visit the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman on our way home after Easter. They have a big dinosaur area and I knew Olivia would get a kick out of seeing the dinosaur bones. I bribed her into good behavior all weekend by reminding her about upcoming trip to see the dinosaur bones. Aunt Amanda, cousin Aiden, and Nanni went too. It was Grreeeaat fun!

A T-Rex Skull!

I think this one's a Sauropod, with some sort of meat eater climbing up it.

Triceratops. When Olivia says this it sounds like "tater tops."

The museum also has a nice play area for the kids.

Nathan even got to play!

The trip to the museum was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend with the family, and we can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Eggcitement!

We visited the family in Livingston for Easter. This was really Olivia's first exposure to all the excitement that Easter brings. She's been around for 3 Easters now, but Easter 2006 she was only a few months old, and last Easter, she was really too young to really enjoy things. Although, she was quite fond of the Yogo Bits that Nanni hid inside plastic eggs for her. This year I wanted to make sure she really got to experience Easter.

Here we are with Aunt Amanda and Aiden coloring our eggs. It was very difficult to convince the little ones to let the eggs dry. The egg coloring kit companies need to invent a quick drying egg color. Hmmm, on 2nd thought, I'll keep that to myself and work on inventing it in my spare time.

Here she is putting some Shrek stickers on the eggs. I didn't catch it on film, but before the decorating began, she climbed up to the table, grabbed a colored egg, and bit right into it. She promptly spit out the mouthful of shell, and we used that egg later for deviled eggs. She is so sneaky!

Bunny Olivia waking up on Easter morn. We had an Easter egg hunt inside that was very exciting for both Aiden and Olivia.

We also had a BRIEF egg hunt outside. It was way too cold and windy to stay out too long but the kids got to collect a couple eggs each.

Here is Olivia's batch.

Aiden was so cute! He emptied his pail of eggs into his Tonka dump truck and started motoring them around the driveway. Then, he dumped out his egg load onto the dirt and accidentally stepped on one of the eggs.

So, it was a wonderful weekend visiting with the family and getting to see the kids enjoy Easter. We finished off the visit with a trip to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman to see dinosaurs! More on post!

Look Who's Talking

Nate started talking this weekend! Well...of course it's not really talking, just babbling, but it's exciting nontheless. "Da da da da" is the only intelligible thing we can hear but it sounds sooo cute! Even the nonsense syllables sound adorable. He also began shaking his head "no." This is such a fun time. He's learning so many new things!

The first 3 months or so are hard. It seems like the baby is just a little creature that eats, cries and poops without much interaction. finally get a smile! That first smile makes all the sleepless nights and dirty diapers worthwhile, and it's the first indication that there is a little PERSON inside the crying, eating and pooping creature. The first "words" are further evidence that the little creature is blooming into a happy, interactive baby.

We've also been teaching Nate some sign language, just like we did with Olivia. Right now, we are just signing "puppy," "more," and "all done" (when he's eating). Once he starts using a sippy cup, we'll add in "thirsty" and then maybe "milk." It was very exciting when Olivia actually started using some of the signs we had been teaching her, and I look forward to Nate using his signs too. Last week I was sure he signed puppy, but then again, he could have just been flapping his arms and accidentally slapped his leg twice.
Wishful thinking, maybe? I'll keep you posted on both the verbal and sign language progress!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Best Buddies

It doesn't seem like that long ago that Olivia was riding solo in her wagon, with George pulling her and me waddling alongside, very pregnant. As they say, "time flies when you're having fun." Here we are now, March 2008, and Olivia has assumed the usual position in the wagon but now she has a co-pilot. I rigged a 5-point harness designed for use in shopping carts to the wagon seat. Nate can ride along, safely restrained. He had a great first wagon ride. He smiled and cooed the whole way down the road.

Our big boy is also quickly outgrowing his baby bath tub. He's sitting up quite well now so I decided to try him in the bathtub with Olivia. They both had a ball!

They sure seem to be enjoying sharing these sweet moments with one another. I know George and I are cherishing every one of them!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Special Treat

One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was lick the cake mix off a beater. In fact, I still relish this experience every time I bake.

I made some fruit dip for our playdate recently and had a couple beaters that needed some "cleaning." I have never let Livy lick a beater before so this was a real treat for her. She jumped right in and gave it her all.

Nate also had his first experience with a special treat. He got to eat some peach and strawberry in a mesh feeding bag. We used these with Olivia when she was a baby and she loved to eat fruit this way. Nathan really enjoyed his first experience with the feeding bag. He dove into it with the same zest that Olivia did when licking her beater.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Qwest for Crawling

Why does this crawling thing have to be so hard?

Nate is still trying to get the hang of crawling. He's having no problems locomoting around by army crawling. He's amazingly strong so he just pulls himself along by digging his elbows in. He's getting increasingly frustrated though. It's as if he knows intuitively that getting from Point A to Point B should not be this much work. He rocks back and forth, propels forward, and face plants.

As you can see, he's starting to get his knees more involved in the process.

He is also doing full-on planks...amazing display of core strength! He goes up on hands and tip toes and holds the pose until fatigue sets in. He's my little "World's Strongest Man."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two-Way Radio

Olivia thinks the baby monitor is a two-way radio and she becomes very concerned when she hears Nate's crying being broadcasted. Sometimes when she hears him crying she'll say something she's heard George or I say like, "C'mon Nate! or calm down!" when he's really howling. I do try to encourage her to talk sweetly to the baby so I'll prompt her, "Tell him 'it's ok baby.'"

So this day, she was listening to the monitor and announced, "Nate crying" just in case I didn't hear it already. Then she spoke into the monitor, "It's ok Nate." "Keep talking to him" I said. "He can hear you." So then she starts whispering gibberish to him and just like magic, he stopped crying. "See, I told you he could hear you." "Wow" she said with a tone of wonderment in her voice. Amazing!

A few days later she awoke from her nap and heard Nate fussing in the living room. She told me, "Nate hungry. Milk. Nate need nursing."

Here she is helping me feed Nate his solid food. She did a really good job getting the spoon loaded and into his mouth. He opened up nice and wide for her! Imagine that.

What a little mommy she is already!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ahh B C's

We have been singing the ABC song for awhile now but Olivia is just starting to sing along. She sings, "Ahh B C..." and any letters she sees are the Ahh B Cs. On the way home from lunch, I hear her in the back seat singing, "Now know Ahh B Cs..." Love it! I also have some Mary Engelbreit letters that spell out our last name sitting a shelf and she knows that spells Alkire. It's so cute to hear her say her name, "O-liv-ya Alkire." Today she announced that she was, "pretty Olivya." Yes, indeedy. Can you tell I'm smitten? I think she's pretty nifty.

One of her Sesame Street DVDs is the All-Star Alphabet. They go through each letter and sing about words that begin with each letter. Her favorite seems to be J. They sing, "J. J. Jumping J!" She sings along and jumps around. Sometimes she gets so worked up that she starts making laps around the living room and kitchen, just running frantically, all the while singing, "J. J. Jumping J" and inserting an intermittent jump every now and then. Who says tv is bad for kids. Phooey with a P!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Day at the Doctor

We had my friend Beth's kids for a few hours a couple weeks ago so she and her husband could go get their taxes done. Bree and Olivia are totally BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and they play really well together despite their age 2o month age difference. Here they are playing with the doctor kit. Bree was a skillful and thorough doctor, and Olivia was a very cooperative patient.

She put the blood pressure cuff on and reassured Olivia, "Your temperature is just fine."

Checking the heart, lung and abdomen sounds. She said, "I think she had pizza for lunch."

Now Bree is using the thermometer, and is actually taking an axillary temperature. Good job!

The last step in the examination was the dreaded shot. I didn't capture this one on film, but the shot in the arm was expertly given and Bree reassured her, "Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit."

Olivia really likes going to her "real" doctor, especially because Nurse Patti gives her a bag of fruit treats at the end of each visit. And we're there a lot it seems, not because the kids are sick much, but we usually ALL go to each visit so between Olivia's visits and Nate's frequent baby checks we're there almost every month. The other day, Olivia was playing with a measuring tape and she came over to me as I was sitting on the floor and put the tape around my head (checking my head circumference presumably). I said, "Oh thank you Nurse Patti." I am really enjoying the role-play and make believe that Olivia is starting to do. It's fascinating to see what she comes up with!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thirsty Boy

I was getting dressed the other day and I hear Nate (who's on the floor in the living room) starting to make a gagging sound. I hurry out and see this:

He's guzzling juice out of Olivia's sippy cup. He had probably worked up a hearty thirst doing all the crawling and rolling and just figured he'd help himself. There is no stopping this boy. He eats whatever we put in front of him, and is obviously ready to start trying his own sippy cup. Now if he'd just get some teeth he could really get down to business! I have been giving him some rice treats - I think they're called baby Yum Yum crackers. He loves them. Here are a few pictures of him going to town on his Yum Yums.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Destined for Dentistry

I think Olivia might be destined for dentistry. She's fascinated with our mouths. Here's how my oral exam went down today.

Olivia sticks her hand in my mouth so I open nice and wide.
"Ooh big gums" she says.
"Big teeth too."
Then she sticks out her tongue which is my visual cue to stick out mine.
Then she spies something hanging down in the back of my mouth. "Momma, heart!"
Although many of the things she does makes me feel like my heart IS in the back of my throat, I think she's talking about my uvula. She proceeds to jam her whole hand in to try and feel this new discovery.
After I gag and remove her hand, I explain, "No, that's my uv-u-la."
"Oh, oovala!"

Just when I think she can't get any cuter...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Shapely Freak and the Outlaw Disciple

Olivia and Nathan were playing on the floor the other day. I peeked around the corner and saw this:

Olivia had Nathan in a scissor hold. She was giggling and he was being a good sport, tolerating the old-school wrestling move.

It made me think about what their wrestling names might be...

I actually found a Pro Wrestling Name Generator online. To generate your personalized pro wrestling name, click here if you're a female OR here if you're a male.

Here are the names that were generated for Olivia and Nate: Shapely Freak and Outlaw Disciple. How funny is that?!

Their mama, the Sensual Medusa, would LOVE to see some comments with YOUR pro wrestling name...