Friday, July 25, 2008

Biking Buddies

Most of our evenings are spent on the cool side of our house, playing in the driveway and on the front porch. I think Nate's been having as much fun as Olivia with her new bike. He loves to push it around the driveway and give her some help as she tries to pedal. He even likes to ride the bike occasionally. When he's driving, sometimes Olivia hops on for a ride too.

Nate's also practicing his two newly acquired skills: walking and climbing. He's hiking that leg up every chance he gets, whether it's to scale the bike or climb into the wagon. We are sooo in trouble with this one!

So, you can see, we've been having lots of fun outside this summer! Kids are built-in entertainment. Whether Olivia is running around the yard in search of "hoppers" or Nate is amazing us with his constant feats of bravery, we're always smiling and enjoying their interaction.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Huckleberry Hunt

George has every weekend off now that he's on his new schedule. On Friday morning we loaded up the kids and the dog and headed up Lost Horse Creek in search of the elusive huckleberry.

Nate really enjoyed being packed around on George's back. Olivia and I worked an adjacent area. She ate almost every berry she picked though! I think only two berries actually made it into my bucket. Tromping through the woods is fun. Charlie was running free, just sniffing and exploring. Every few minutes he'd head back our way just to check in, and then he was off again.

Nate getting his first taste of a huckleberry. Olivia was kind enough to share. Then he got to inspect one. We finished picking and even though we didn't get more than a cup or so of berries, we're very excited to go back up in about a month. We saw a ton of green berries that just weren't ripe yet. We drove back down the road a bit and found a place in the creek that was relatively calm. We had a picnic lunch and then George and Olivia did a little fishing while Nate and I played. Charlie played in the creek nearby. Olivia spent most of her time sitting right near the water digging for worms. Big surprise!

Needless to say, both kids were absolutely grungy by the time we got home. If filth is a measure of how much fun they had, I'd say they had a blast! It was a wonderful day out in the woods.

For a trip down memory lane, I thought I'd end this post with a few pictures from this time last year, just to drive home how fast time really does fly.

Little Olivia getting her first taste of huckleberries and me cooling off my 8 1/2 months pregnant swollen feet.

I wonder what the next year has in store for us!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Walkin' and Talkin'

Today Nate went from being able to take 2-3 steps, to all of a sudden, he's walking half way across Olivia's room!

We were in there playing before bedtime and he takes 4 steps. I call down the hallway to George, "He just took FOUR steps!" A few minutes later I shout another progress report, "He took SEVEN steps!" and "Now he's up to NINE!" This gets George excited and he comes to see for himself. We sit across from each other, maybe 4 feet between us, and Nate begins to walk to George, then walk to me. Again and again several more times. Wowzer!

Olivia started walking pretty early too so I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised. It just amazes me how fast he went from barely able to manage a few steps to making laps!

This morning I left the house before 6 a.m. to set up for the Mom's Group yard sale. George tells me that Nate said, "banana" during breakfast! Holding a banana, George asks, "did you say banana? Say 'banana.'" He swears that Nate repeated, clear as day, "banana." All I could get him to say tonite was "nana." Not too bad for a 10 month old. Olivia still says, "mana" for banana if I let her get away with it. Now we are encouraging her to say things correctly so Nate learns the right way. He has also started waving to us. What an exciting time, full of new things each day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's Old Is New Again

Olivia got a Fisher-Price zebra ride on toy for her first Christmas. She played with it for a long time but eventually got too big and lost interest. We put it in the garage, knowing it would get more use when Nate was old enough. A week or so ago, we dug it out of the garage, washed it off, and brought it inside. Olivia is suddenly very interested in it again, spinning around on it, and bouncing, as she says, like a "bucking Bronco!" I think her new-found interest came from the rodeo. She even hollers, "Yee Haw" while she's riding. Here she is teaching Nate to ride.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dr. Dain

Olivia's friend Dain and his little sister Reyna spent a few hours at our house on Wednesday. As usual, the doctor kit was a big hit and Dr. Dain went right to work, checking out Olivia's heart.

She was so excited for him to visit. For two or three days beforehand, everytime she'd wake up in the morning, or after her nap, she wanted to know if it was time to see Dain. Dain's mom said he was doing the same thing! This morning, when Dain saw Olivia walk into the playdate, he ran over to her and gave her a big hug. He is such a sweetie. Olivia says, "he's a nice boy."

Sunday, July 13, 2008





Friday, July 11, 2008

Trike Time

Olivia's Florida grandparents sent her a big present...a Schwinn Roadster Tricycle! We've been talking about it for the last few days so she was really excited when the UPS driver dropped it on our front porch. "Open it mommy!" I told her she had to help me clean up her toys off the floor so Daddy would have room to put it together. She went straight to work, picking up her puzzle pieces, putting a dirty cup in the sink, and taking a pair of Nate's dirty shorts to the laundry room. Once we got it assembled, she took it for a test drive on the driveway. She had a hard time figuring out what to do. I think her legs are long enough, she just doesn't quite have the coordination yet to pedal. She does very well using her legs to scoot the trike around though, and she loves to ring the bell.

We figured maybe she'd do better on the bike trail where she'd have more room. I pushed Nate in the stroller while George helped Olivia. After a few minutes of trying she got exasperated, said, "I can't do it" and hopped onto the stroller. With a little more practice, she'll be zooming around in her Roadster, kicking up dirt. Vroom-vroom!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rodeo Queen

Olivia and I attended our first rodeo on the 4th of July with Josh, Amanda, Aiden and George. The Livingston Roundup has been going on since 1923 and attracts some of the biggest names in the rodeo world. It was really cool to see the different events and what amazing athletes these men and women are. The Bronco Busting and the Bull Riding were my two favorites but seeing the cowboys lasso the steers was pretty impressive also. By far, my favorite thing about the rodeo was seeing Olivia and Aiden dressed in their western gear.

After the rodeo there was a fireworks show. Olivia couldn't decide if she was scared or fascinated. She said the loud noises were spooky but would ooh and aah at the fireworks lighting up the night sky.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Doin' the Two Step

Nate stood up in the middle of the room today and took two steps! He wasn't even near a piece of furniture!

I suspected this would happen soon. He's been standing unsupported more frequently and for longer durations. Today he got brave enough to pick up those little feet and try to walk! He's stubborn and determined so I imagine he'll be toddling after all of us very, very soon.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Big Girl Bed

A few days ago, we converted Olivia's crib to a toddler bed. So far so good. Except for the 2nd day she napped in there. I heard a loud THUD followed by some crying and went in to find her on the floor next to her bed. OOPS. There's a guardrail on the side but it only covers half the length of the bed. She flops around a lot when she's sleeping and must have flopped to the end of the bed and then fallen off. Poor thing. That hasn't happened since. Knock on wood.

I was just telling a friend that I was waiting for Olivia to figure out she could get out of the bed after we put her in there. Well I must have jinxed myself because nap time the following day was very interesting! First I hear a "sshhh" coming down the hall. I go investigate and there she is standing at the baby gate telling Charlie "sshhh" as if he is supposed to keep her secret, that she has figured out she doesn't have to stay in bed. She wants a snack. Oh here we go! "OK, a little cheese but you have to get back in bed" I tell her. A few minutes later I hear her attempting to scale the baby gate, and then she starts to cry. Must have scraped something. I go to check on her and she's back in bed but now needs a "baybaid" on her knee. Translation: band-aid. I get her patched up and leave the room. Maybe third time's a charm? She finally falls asleep and when I go to check on her an hour later, this is what I find:

Thirty minutes later I checked again and she was still sleeping but in this position:

Just wondering how her legs knew to support her weight, even in a deep sleep? I guess the same way my arm knew how to support my head when I fell asleep in class? Oh, I mean when I was "studying the capillary patterns of my eyelids" as my highschool botany teacher put it. But I digress.

Now if I could only get her potty trained...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Nate News

Ahh the babies. They change so fast. Nate is ten months old today. I thought I would honor the momentous occasion with a little update on his progress.

First the vital statistics: he was 22 pounds and 28.5 inches at his 9 month checkup which puts him at the 68th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height. I mentioned his two teeth in a prior post. He is doing a great job of feeding himself and actually gets quite irritated if I try to feed him baby food. He usually shovels the food in faster than we can cut it up. He is drinking out of a sippy cup now and his favorite treat is to sneak a guzzle or two of Olivia's chocolate milk if she leaves it laying around. He screams when I take it away. Imagine!

He is well on his way to walking. He pushes this little walker all around the house to get from point A to point B quickly. He is also able to stand unsupported for 10-15 seconds at a time, even lifting a pillow over his head twice while standing up.

Loves to play peekaboo, pulling a blanket over his head, or ducking around a corner or under a piece of furniture. We remember fondly this time with Olivia. So much so, I decided to dig out a few old pictures of her for comparison.

His hair is also getting long enough in back that it's beginning to curl. Curly hair AND dimples? Oh my. What a ladykiller he'll be.

And, who can forget the fishy lips? He has finally figured out how to make this silly face.

Besides "da da da" he is also sometimes teasing me with a "ma" or a "ga." He makes this funny face when he's spurting out the syllables that looks like he's an old man without his dentures in. He presses his bottom lip tightly against the top, almost in a snapping motion. I found a picture of Olivia making a similar face too.

We're still working on the sign language. He is clearly signing "puppy" but hasn't started the other signs yet. Hopefully he'll get the others soon. We definitely can't believe his first birthday is just around the corner. Olivia has already decided he should have a tractor cake. I think he'll "dig" right in to that! We sure have enjoyed the last 10 months with our little man. He's a sweetheart with a good sense of humor already developing, and quite the "pistol" as George would say. He'll keep me busy for sure once he starts walking!