Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A year in review

I am sure that many of you thought I had given up blogging. The truth is that things got pretty busy this spring and then I just never really caught up. With Doug's work schedule, it can be hard to have time plus last spring was just a busy one and I got behind with many things and never caught up. I was lucky enough to have a very uneventful but wonderful Christmas break and got some things organized and hopefully have been able to set my priorities straight again.

I really regret not blogging for the last year. I know I missed recording so many moments and stages that I have now forgotten. This blog was started so that I could record all those little things and I feel like I've missed so many. My new goal is to blog once a week even if I don't have a picture, even if it is just a quick entry about something Oliver said or did that I want to remember.

This post will be just a summary of some of the things that happened in 2011. More details coming with 2012.
Tractors from Uncle Ron and Aunt Bonnie. Oliver loves anything with wheels that go. We did notice that he loved to line them up. This is also his "airplane shirt" that was a hand me down from a dear friend who also has a little boy born in December (so the sizes line up just right). Oliver loved this shirt.
This is in February of 2011. By this time, Oliver's language had really begun to take off. This is him reading to Pooh Bear. He did this a lot-put Pooh or Elmo in a chair and read to him. I loved it! Notice the Parenting magazine on the floor. He loved to look through these and see the pictures of the babies and Elmo. He also would read these to me or Pooh Bear. I kept them around for the longest time because he enjoyed them so much.
These pictures are a little out of order but I have never figured out an easy way to reorder them in Blogger. The above is a picture of how Oliver arranged his sidewalk chalk (June). Again, more ordering. And you can't stop him or hurry him while he is doing it. He went through a stage during the summer where he had to take something with him in the car whenever we went somewhere. One day he insisted on taking a steel pot that I had let him use for "cooking" filled with Duplo Blocks that he had make into "noodles". When he got home, he dropped it on the garage floor by accident. He had to set every one in the pot right side up.
By this spring, Oliver had developed a real love for trains and Thomas the Tank Engine. We took him to Frisco Station Park in Rogers where he could climb in the caboose. He just went in and out of the caboose for almost an hour.

I went crazy one morning taking pictures of Oliver playing in this puddle in the back yard. He just had so much fun. I will spare you the other 30 pictures.

It was a busy spring and summer. I accepted a new job at a new elementary school as an ESL instructional facilitator which meant I was changing schools for the first time in nine years and out of the classroom for the first time in my professional life. Little scary. In April, Oliver started having sleep issues with nightmares and a fear of the dark and thunderstorms which resulted in many many nights of interrupted sleep and a cranky toddler. Due to the snow days, school went until June 9 which meant a short summer. Addie came to visit so Oliver got to have a good visit with his sister before school started again.
Oliver wasn't sure about the pool for the longest time. He didn't like to be splashed but loved splashing when he controlled it. We didn't get in the pool as much as I would have liked because it got so hot this summer with temperatures in the 100s that it was too hot to go outside.
Oliver at Granna and Grandpa's. He got a big stick there that he loved so much that Grandpa let him take it home. He played with that stick in the backyard all summer.
Oliver is a very active kid. He always has been but he has always loved to read and be read to. It is about the only thing that he will sit still for. It warms his mommy's heart to see him reading books and asking to be read to. We continued going to the library this summer and Oliver loved it. The only problems we had was getting him to leave. I actually had to carry him out screaming because he wanted to stay and get more books. Embarrassing but a good problem to have.
Feeding the ducks with Daddy. Our tradition would be ducks, playground and library. I am not sure what Oliver loved the most. Since I hope that Oliver will read this in some form one day, I will try not to embarrass him (much) but the other major event of the summer was Oliver accomplished potty training which was a huge deal to Mommy and Daddy. He was great-got the idea in a couple of days, had a few setbacks when he went back to daycare and was off and running (save the occasional accident). He is such a cool kid.

There is a major absence of pictures during September-new job. I am a terrible, exhausted Mommy.

So that brings us to Pumpkin Patch.

About this time, Oliver developed a love of cooking. He was always using my pots, pans, cooking utensils. Oliver is the only kid I know who knew what a whisk was and how to use it. He used his Duplo Blocks for food and made everything: noodles, spaghetti, birthday cake, cookies, you name it. He also was always inviting Dora, Diego, Elmo and Pooh Bear over for dinner or a birthday party. There were also lots of trips to the grocery store and he would make a list with tortillas and cereal bars.

In November, we got the great news that Oliver's allergies had dramatically improved. His numbers for egg, milk and peanut all dropped significantly. We were given the ok to introduce milk into diet which opened up so many more possibilities for dinner and birthday cakes.

The birthday theme was Thomas the Tank Engine, of course. We had lots of fun with Grams and Granna and ate lots of cake! I have too many pictures that I could post so I am limiting it to just three.

And then there was Christmas:

It was a wonderful Christmas. We even got a phone call from Santa on Christmas Eve! Santa brought a train table and tracks. Video to come later. Grams and Grandmother came over and we opened presents. It was so much fun because Oliver was really into passing out presents and opening presents-even if it wasn't his. I kept hearing, "How about you open this?". We had ham and cheesy potatoes for Christmas lunch and just enjoyed the day. Oliver must have had a good time because he took a three hour nap that afternoon!

This is a picture I took over Christmas break of Oliver watching the chicken noodle casserole cook that he helped make.
If you have read this long, congratulations. I am planning to do much better this year with my blogging. Too many special moments to miss.

We had a wonderful year and are hopeful and excited about 2012. Wishing you a late happy New Year.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blizzard 2011

I had all these blog posts planned in my mind including one with pictures from our snow days last week. When this happened...

This is view from our driveway.

Our front yard covered in 21 inches of least..I think we got a bit more here on this side of town.

Garrett having a blast as the snow fell yesterday morning. To quote Oliver, "Garrett jump in snow". Excuse the blue snow..poor editing on my part.

I don't know if Oliver believed me that his sandbox was still there..since it had been covered since about 6:00 am but we had a great day yesterday.

Blurry but I love this smile.

Reading "Little Bunny Foo Foo". Oliver can "read" his favorite books now. It's so much fun to watch.

We really did have a great day yesterday. It snowed all morning and into the early afternoon. I have never been in snow this deep. It was up to my knees! I would try to take Oliver out again today but the high is only supposed to be 25 and even though it is sunny it still might be too cold for Oliver.

Doug tried to go to work yesterday but got stuck in the driveway. It was nice being home with him and getting some time with the three of us. Luckily, a snow plow came through the neighborhood early this morning and he was eventually able to get out and go to work. For all our northern readers, I know you must be laughing but for we are just not prepared for this kind of snow down here. It is a pretty big deal. I hope that we get this kind of snow at least once when Oliver is a little older. I know he would really love playing in it.

I will be home again tomorrow with Oliver. This makes snow day number ten for us so we will be having a shortened summer this year. I know I will regret in June but it has been so much fun being home with him. Especially since I know I won't see Oliver as much next week due to parent teacher conferences after school.

I plan to post some pictures from the last snow days..lots of fun indoor activities. Also, I want to write about how it has been so much fun being at home with Oliver when he is rested and happy. I feel like I am getting to know him more everyday since we have had these extended breaks. When I pick him up in the afternoons, by the time we get home, he is often tired and starting to get cranky. I feel like I have really seen Oliver at his best lately.

As Oliver would say, "How fun."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Such a neat kid

Oliver in his "corner" with some of his favorite things, books.

Oliver helping in the kitchen.

That's how I like to describe Oliver. I know I am his mom but he just does the neatest things sometimes. I know that all kids do neat things, and many of them much more impressive than what Oliver does but since this is his blog I can brag about them.

Here are some stories that I wanted to blog about so I wouldn't forget:

Oliver loves to cook and help in the kitchen. I have been cooking more meals due to Doug's work schedule and so it is a fun way to spend time with Oliver in the evenings. He loves to play with the pots, plastic bowls, wooden spoons and cooking utensils.

Awhile back, I was making dinner and he saw me get an onion out of the refrigerator. Oliver got so excited and kept saying "onion, onion!". "Yes, Oliver, I'm going to chop an onion." I only needed half a cup so I got out the cutting board instead of using the food processor. Oliver launches into this huge fit. I couldn't figure out why he was so upset. It turns out that he wanted to help put the onion in the food processor and help push the button to chop the onion in the food processor. I guess the last time he was around, I let him help and he decided that it was too much fun. So now, whenever, I need an onion chopped, we use the food processor and Oliver helps.

He also has to help unload or load the dishwasher. I have to grab the knives pretty quickly so that he won't want to help with the knives. He really gets very upset if he is not allowed to help.

I am hoping that this love of helping will continue. If I make a mess (which is often) Oliver always wants to help pick it up. The other night, I left my water glass too close to the edge of the dining table and the next thing I know I hear "Mess". So, I got a towel for both of us and he "helped" to clean up the mess. He is even pretty good about picking up his books and toys before bath time.

Speaking of bath time, Oliver no longer needs a laundry basket in the bathtub. In case you are wondering, read this. Oliver is now the proud owner of an Elmo bathmat (the kind you put in the tub so you won't slip). He can't wait to take a bath at night. On the way home, he will recite what we will do: "Mommy push button" (opening the garage door), "snack", "Elmo bath mat". Mommy,"Oliver, after we have dinner, then you can have a bath with your Elmo bath mat."
Oliver,"Dinner ready Elmo bath mat" Loves, loves the Elmo bath mat.

More posts later. I estimate about six inches of snow on the ground so it looks like I may be able to catch up with some blogging in the next few days.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A bit of catch up

So, I promised a catch up from Christmas. Oliver is doing great but has had a very hectic last month. I counted the other day and of the 10 days I had off for Christmas break, we spent 6 of them in a doctor's office.

To begin with, last month, Oliver got ear tubes. We had so many ear infections from September to December, I lost count. It seemed like we were either getting an ear infection, on antibiotics for an ear infection, or starting a new ear infection. Every time he had a cold or allergy issues, a week later we were in the doctor's office for antibiotics. They weren't mild ear infections either. Apparently doctors rate ear infections, from 1-10 and he was getting 7s and 8s. Not a time you want to score high. He was also getting double ear infections. It was affecting his sleep (and ours) and we found out later, the fluid had turned into a gel like substance and wasn't draining at all. The ear doctor was surprised he could hear at all. So on December 21, he got tubes. It was scary for a mom even though I know this is a common and very safe procedure. He got through it just fine though. We started have sleep problems Christmas Eve and we thought the ear infection he had at the time of the surgery hadn't cleared up. He was waking literally 8-9 times a night and our usual Motrin/Tylenol wasn't helping. Of course, this is Christmas weekend so we had to wait till the following Monday to take him in. I was convinced he had an ear infection and was shocked when the doctor said his ears looked "perfect". We later decided that this must have been a reaction from the anesthesia, being out of his routine, and cutting one of his two year molars.

Oliver is not really a cold weather kid.

Also that Monday, Oliver went to the allergist to get tested for allergies. I was so proud of him. He took the testing like a champ-didn't cry once. Thomas the Tank Engine on the TV screen helped, I am sure. I was so glad to finally go the allergist. Oliver has had problems with eczema since he was about 8 weeks old. It has come and gone but never gone away completely. His hand eczema could get really bad and we could never figure out why. The next day, we went and had blood drawn to confirm his allergies. Again, Oliver didn't cry once and did great. I think he was too fascinated watching the blood getting drawn to be upset. He did not get this from his mom!

Trying to show Oliver that snow is fun. It worked for few minutes.

About a week later, we found out that Oliver is allergic to milk, egg, and peanuts. It has been an adjustment but we are figuring all of this out. You don't realize how much you use milk and egg until you can't. One of the hardest times was when he had a meltdown over not being able to eat cheese one afternoon. Our traditional snack after school had been cheese and crackers and he just didn't understand. He got over it and now we just don't talk about cheese a lot. It is amazing the substitutes that are available if you look. I am still learning to cook and plan meals around the milk and eggs but I have a long way to go. It makes it all worth it to see how much better his skin looks and not spend 10 minutes after every bath applying a steroid cream. We still have outbreaks and are keeping a food diary but it is much, much better now. The peanut allergy is a little scary. He will probably outgrow the milk and egg allergy but not the peanut. We must carry an epipen with us at all times.

Also, during Christmas break, Oliver had his two year check up. The doctor said that he was doing great. He is 35 inches tall and 30 pounds, which puts him in the 75th percentile for height and weight. Poor guy, had his immunizations while he was there as well. He is an amazing little boy and I am so proud of how well he did with all of his doctor visits.

The pictures in this post are from a snow we had a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it has taken me this long to finally finish this post. We took Oliver out thinking this year he would really enjoy the snow and realize how fun so can be. We were wrong. As I write this post, it is snowing outside and we have quite a bit of snow on the ground. I am not even thinking about taking him out.

If you have made it this long, I am impressed. The next post won't be as long, I hope. We are going to enjoy being snowed in and hope that everyone stays safe and warm.

Christmas 2010

I know I am just a bit behind. It has been another very, very busy month which I will write about later but for now, I just want to share some Christmas pictures. We had a great Christmas with Oliver. This year he was so much more excited then last year. He really didn't know what was going on but he knew it was something good. It was a lot to fit in with his birthday two days earlier and our exciting week-which I will write about later-but it was still a great Christmas. Grams and his great grandmother joined us for Christmas to open presents and eat dinner. One of the reasons for delay in the Christmas post is that we have SO many pictures, I had been avoiding going through and editing and choosing the ones for the blog. Here are just a few.
Daddy and Oliver reading together on Christmas Eve day.

Making cookies with Oliver was so much fun. The early childhood teacher in me was perfect training. I was prepared for a mess (and we had one) but it was so much fun. Oliver didn't know what to do at first. I thought he would catch on to the shaking of the sprinkles faster but he still had fun-and loved licking the icing and sampling the cookies.

More cookies

The hanging of the stocking
(Note: No, I didn't edit all the pictures. I realize that many of them need work)

On Christmas morning, Oliver found a tricycle under the tree from Santa

He also found a filled stocking full of goodies. Oliver has been a very good boy.

Grams gave Oliver a great Oliver size table for coloring, playdough, and, of course, lunch dates with Elmo.

It was such a busy day that we didn't take our family pictures in front of tree on Christmas day. My wonderful mom came over the next day to take pictures. Oliver was not really feeling up for pictures (to say the least). He had been just a tad overscheduled this Christmas and he had had enough. This was as close as we could get. I still think it turned out well.

We had a very wonderful Christmas with family and friends. We are excited for the new year and wish everyone a peaceful and joyous new year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy 2nd birthday, Oliver!

Here is a picture of Oliver the night before he turned two years old. I wanted one last picture of him as a one year old and the high chair is the only way to keep him still.

We had a great time celebrating Oliver's birthday. Due to Doug's work schedule we decided to have the party in the morning which was nice because then we could spend the rest of the day calming down from the party.We kept the party to just family again and quite frankly, I don't know if Oliver could have handled the excitement of anyone else in the house. At one point, I had to take him into the bedroom to "key down". We think the balloons sent him over the edge.
Oliver loved ripping open his presents this year. Tearing paper is lots of fun.
Big truck, as Oliver would say. He had so much fun pushing his new trucks around the house (and still does).

This is a ball that jiggled when you pulled the string. Big hit with Oliver. He didn't even have to take it out of the box to enjoy it.

Oliver didn't understand the pacing of opening gifts. He kept wanting to read every book and play with every toy as he opened them.

We had a farm theme for his birthday. Oliver's cake was vanilla with raspberry filling. I just love the decorations. You can't see it in the picture but it is three dimensional and the pig is coming out of the mud. Cute!

Happy birthday, Oliver!

When your birthday is two days before Christmas, it is inevitable that there will be a shot of the Christmas tree at some point. Especially when you are as interested in the tree as Oliver.

More to post later about Christmas and the general state of affairs with Oliver. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful little boy. I can't wait to see what year three brings!