Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Look Who's Talking!

Nate's vocabulary has really increased in the last few weeks. He says many words without realizing he's saying them. Clear as day, he'll say something like, "kitty cat" and if we ask him to repeat it, he won't. I remember this phase with Olivia too. It's amazing though. Given that he's a boy AND a second child, it's normal for his verbal skills to be a bit behind. He is proving that wrong. George and I have tried to make sure that Livy doesn't talk FOR Nate. We let him take his time and try to say things or communicate in his own way. Here is a list of words he likes to use:

sissy ("sssss")
thirsty ("sissty")
down ("da")
uh-oh (his new favorite)
dog ("da")
kitty cat
apple ("app")

I'm so impressed with out little man. I think he's going to be a little chatterbox just like his sister

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Medley

It's that joyous time of year when all the radio stations are playing Christmas music to get us in the holiday spirit. Olivia really likes all these songs and is singing along every chance she gets. Last night, I went to bed right after I put the kids to bed. As I lay there trying to fall asleep, I can hear Livy in her room singing, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you've been good, he knows when you've been bad, so be good for goodness sake..." She gets the verses a little mixed up, or sometimes inserts a line from "Jingle Bells" in the wrong song but it is so cute! In the car the other day, James Taylor starts singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" but I don't recognize it because the first few lines are different. Olivia asks, "what's this song?" I reply, "I'm not sure but I know it's James Taylor. Doesn't he have a nice voice?" Olivia agrees, "oh yes! I like this song. Yes. Yes."

We've also been watching lots of Christmas movies on DVD and Video on Demand. She seems to think that every movie ever made should have a Christmas version. Today, after watching, "The Grinch" and "Home Alone" she asked for "Tinkerbell The Night Before Christmas." George said he'd suggest that one to Disney.

When Santa (Grandpa Dan) called her, she asked for "a T-rex and an apatosaurus for my baby brother." There is a giant, remote control T-rex in Target that she loves. I think it's a little too advanced for her (plus it's about $150). Fortunately, I did buy a smaller, motorized T-rex. I told her that I didn't think a big T-rex would fit in Santa's sleigh.

I can't wait to see her and Nate open all their presents. Ever since I became an adult, my parents have been telling me, "don't buy us anything. Christmas is for the kids." I couldn't really understand how they felt that way, but now that I have little ones of my own, I can totally see where they were coming from. The anticipation I used to feel waiting to open my gifts pales in comparison to the anticipation I have now, waiting to see my kids on Christmas morning. Their joy is the best present of all. Unless of course, George wants to buy me a pair of shoes. Uggs maybe? Ballet flats? Anything in a size 10, thank you very much and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh the Joys of Parenting

Something magical happens during childbirth whereby you lose any trace of aversion to body fluids and other bodily emissions. I think it's a critical adaptation which allows us to care for our offspring for the first several years of their life. I had a joyous morning filled with a few instances of close encounters of the poop and pee kind.

First, Olivia is still refusing to poop in the potty. She'd much rather just poop in her panties and let me clean up the mess. This morning she had on her jammie pants without underwear (my fault) and the poop fell out her pant leg onto the kitchen floor. She called out from the kitchen, "Mommy! Poop!" and I walk in and see her standing with her foot in the pile. I hurry to clean up the mess on the floor before Nate can walk in and "play" and then try to get the dirty pants off her without making more of a mess. I failed at that, so into the bathtub both kids go.

So the kids are in the bathtub getting clean but doing a little too much splashing. I'm sitting on the floor next to the tub and getting wetter than I would like. I scold them both for this and ask, "please, keep the water in the tub." A moment later, Nate crawls out of the tub, stands next to me, and pees all over my leg. I guess he was going to get me wet one way or another.

I love these children. They could pee and poop all over the house and I'd just clean it up and move on. Don't get me wrong- Olivia putting her poop in the potty can't happen soon enough, but until then, I'll just deal with it. At least it gives me good material for the blog!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Craft Time

Olivia has been driving us crazy about the TV lately. It's totally my fault. I'm a TV addict and she is her mother's daughter. We turned off the TV today and tried to keep her occupied with other activities. She was really resisting our efforts until I remembered that I had a special crown to decorate. It was included in our last monthly Brighter Visions kit. Each kit includes a book, workbook, CD, and craft project. We all enjoy when the kits arrive because the workbook alone (and all the stickers) can keep Olivia occupied for hours. I am so thankful that my good friend Beth told me about them.

Here is Queen Olivia showing off her new crown while working on another glittery project.

We had so much fun decorating her crown. I can't wait till this month's kit arrives with more projects. I'll have to get creative and develop some other projects for her to do until then!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Santa Baby

Nate really likes hats. He especially likes the Santa hat. He puts it on every chance he gets and runs through the house with the white puff ball tassel bouncing behind him. He's looking like the cutest little Santa in these pictures.

Speaking of hats, yesterday we were in Toys R Us and while George was standing in line to pay, Olivia and I were trying on funny Santa hats. They also had one hat that looked like Frosty the Snowman, complete with top hat and carrot nose. I thought it was really cute so I put it on and started singing, "Frosty the Snowman..." I'm pretty sure Olivia was, for the first time in her life, embarrassed by her mother. She didn't even laugh. She just looked down, kind of sheepishly, and said, "Mom. Take it off." Then she walked in the other direction. It gave me a little chuckle to see her respond that way and I can just see us, 10 years from now, when she really thinks I'm the biggest dork that ever lived. I wish I would have bought the Frosty Hat. Maybe Santa will bring it to me?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Festive Home

Despite the fact that we are, ahem, still living amongst a few boxes, things are looking a bit homier now that we have most of the Christmas decorations up. We got snow last week which I figured was my cue to get the outside Halloween decorations taken down. Then George asked me when we can start putting the Christmas stuff up. Since we are leaving for Florida on Dec. 20th, I figured we can decorate for the holidays a little earlier than we usually do. George, Nate and I got a head start on the outside lights on Sunday while Olivia was napping. This old house doesn't have any outlets outside so poor George was having to string this extension cord to that one and then connect another, etc... Somehow he managed to get everything lit up AND hooked to a timer. As we were hanging lights, Nate was stumbling around the yard in his new puffy winter coat. It's so puffy that Nate has a hard time moving his arms. Oftentimes, he'll fall down and not be able to get back up. So, he was stumbling around, falling in piles of leaves, looking as cute as ever. Things are looking like a winter wonderland out there. Now we just need more snow.

After Olivia woke up, we started decorating inside. George had already put up the tree so I only had to drag the ornament box up from the basement and get to decorating. She and Nate happily "helped" me. Olivia was busy handing me ornaments out of the bin, or running especially cute ones out into the living room for Daddy to see. Nate was just grabbing whatever he could out of the bin and flinging it around. He's gentle that way. Even though we only put ornaments on the top 1/3rd of the tree, it looks pretty in the corner of our dining room!

We found stockings, candles, my Gingerbread House, wreaths, and a lighted garland that we ran up the banister. All this has catapulted Olivia into major Santa mode. First, when she saw the snow last week, she asked, "Is Santa coming?" Now with the house decorated, she oscillates between running around on some sort of Santa induced high, and sitting quietly on the couch admiring things saying, "Oh, it's ador-bable." There's been a constant fight over who gets to wear the Santa hat and christmas tree bell necklace. There was a scuffle over a tiny snowglobe. It was dropped on the kitchen tile and broke which made Olivia cry. She said that Santa was going to be mad that she broke it. Every night we read, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" at bedtime and everything she sees on TV is on her Christmas list. I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. I think it's the first year that she understands what's happening AND we're headed to Florida for the holidays. It will be so much fun to see her and Nate opening their presents and I'm thankful my parents will be able to enjoy that with us.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Weather Outside

We've had a sudden drop in temperature here which prompted me to bring out the winter coats for the first time. I thought the kids looked so cute all bundled up that I had to snap a picture of them.

Here is Olivia showing off the hat that her Nanny in Montana knitted for her. How cute is it?

This is such a nice time of the year. I love the transition from fall to winter. Crispness in the air, just enough to make you feel alive, but not enough to make you uncomfortable. The cooler weather definitely makes me think about putting up Christmas decorations. Olivia is fascinated with the animatronic yard animals we've seen at Home Depot and any Christmas figurine toy that moves and makes music. She runs down the Christmas aisle at Walgreens and turns on every one she can reach. She'd do this all day if I let her. Nate is particularly fond of an annoying little bouncing Santa I bought on clearance when we were in Seattle. He's been played with so much that his legs got broken and he doesn't bounce anymore but that doesn't keep Nate from having fun and bouncing along.

Checkup Time

We went for Nate's 15mo checkup this morning. He's 27lbs 14 oz (88th percentile) and 31 1/4 inches (50th percentile.) I'm actually surprised he doesn't weigh more than he does. He and Olivia weigh about the same now but he feels much heavier to me. He got a few shots but handled them like a champ. His pediatrician is especially pleased with his verbal skills (most boys and 2nd children lag behind normal but he is at the level of an 18 month old with his vocab) but wants me to start making him sleep through the night via "tough love" which equals cry it out. She also noticed his molars are on their way in.

Olivia was chattering away the whole appointment telling the doctor she's a "little bit sick" and "needs a baybaid." She also told the nurse that Nate "needs his checkup." She was a little wound up this morning and kept interrupting everyone asking for fruit snacks, which she used to get at the doctor's office in Hamilton, and stickers. On the positive side, she likes going to the doctor's office which speaks to how fortunate we have been to have great doctors in both Seattle and Hamilton.

So, I guess it's time to crack down on Nattie man's nightime requests for cuddles and "ba ba." I know I'll feel better when we're all sleeping through the night, I just dread the process of getting him there. Olivia was pretty easy. After two days, she realized she wasn't going to get what she wanted at night and gave up. Nate has a whole different personality though and I fear he's going to be one of those kids that cries until he pukes. I'm hoping for the best though (and preparing for the worst!)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Gobble Good Time

My sister sent me a recipe for turkey sugar cookies. I've been trying to do more crafty things with the kids and Olivia is really interested in helping me in the kitchen these days so I thought we'd spend an afternoon decorating some cookies. First, I have to complain about the person who decided it was a good idea to use candy corns on Thanksgiving cookies, when I couldn't find a candy corn within a 10 mile radius of here. Does every existing candy corn self-destruct the day after Halloween? Who woulda thunk-it? Poor George was on a wild goose chase after work that day trying to find us candy corns. He did a good job of improvising and we were able to complete the turkeys without incident. Here are a few pictures of the kids enjoying the cookie decorating.

First: the frosting.

Second: add the eyes (mini M&Ms) with a dot of black icing. Olivia decided her cookie needed a few more eyes.

Finally: add the beak and legs.

Doing art with kids is all about the process, not the end result. I think they did a fabulous job and I had as much fun as they did making our gobble gobble cookies.

Monday, December 01, 2008


One of the funniest things that Olivia has started repeated is our term for the butt crack: crack-a-lac-a. The first time she repeated it, we laughed hysterically so of course she says it every chance she gets. Last night she had taken her clothes off and was headed upstairs for a bath. Charlie followed her up the stairs and gave her a little lick on the bum. She giggled and yelled, "Charlie! Don't lick my crack-a-lac-a!"

Recently, Nate has started tugging and pulling at the back of his diaper until it is almost falling off. Today, he looked so cute with his little drawers showing his bum, I had to snap a picture or two.
I took this picture a few weeks ago when he was looking particularly handsome in his new carpenter jeans. He is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen, whether he's showing crack or flashing that million dollar smile complete with dimples!